EXCLUSIVE: Israeli Security Sources Confirm Hamas Prisoner Swap Talks
The bodies of fallen soldiers Hadar Goldin, left, and Oron Shaul, center, are being held in Gaza, along with captives Avera Mengistu, right, and Hisham al-Sayed, not pictured

EXCLUSIVE: Israeli Security Sources Confirm Hamas Prisoner Swap Talks

DEVELOPING STORY: Israeli security sources say negotiations underway to secure release of bodies of fallen IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oren Shaul, captives Hisham al-Sayed and Avera Mengistu

According to well-informed sources within the Israeli security services, negotiations are underway with Hamas to secure the release of the bodies of two Israel Defense Forces soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oren Shaul, as well as two civilians, Avraham (Avera) Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who are currently being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

In addition, the sources indicated that Israel would release several Hamas prisoners who were given lengthy prison sentences and will transfer them to Jordan where they will serve between 5 and 10 years in a Jordanian prison. Upon their release, they will be granted a royal amnesty but will not be allowed to return to the West Bank or Gaza and will instead remain outside the region.

Among the prisoners slated for transfer to Jordan is Abdullah Barghouti, who was convicted and sentenced to 67 life sentences and an additional 5,200 years in prison for his involvement in attacks that resulted in the deaths of numerous Israelis and the injury of hundreds of others during the second Intifada from 2000 to 2004.

Israeli citizen Hisham al-Sayed is being held captive in Gaza by Hamas

It appears that Israel will also release the bodies of Palestinians who have been involved in attacks against Israel that resulted in the deaths and injuries of innocent individuals, as well as police officers and soldiers, in recent years. The Israeli security services has now addressed the issue of releasing prisoners with “blood on their hands,” which was previously discussed within the government following the 2011 deal with Hamas to free captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, and ultimately decided against.

Abdullah Barghouti is a member of Hamas whose family resides in Qatar. It is reported that his family has confirmed the details of the agreement that is being negotiated between him and the Israeli security services, with the assistance of Egyptian and Qatari mediators.

It is also stated that Israel has reached an agreement with Jordan on all the necessary details, including the fact that the prisoners on the list hold Jordanian passports, which allows the Jordanian authorities to imprison them according to Jordanian law and recognize the validity of the Israeli judgments against them.

According to a source close to incoming Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the details of the plan to release Hamas prisoners and secure the release of the bodies of Israeli soldiers and civilian captives being held by Hamas in Gaza are known to Netanyahu.

The source also indicated that the incoming prime minister is not opposed to the plan in principle, and that it will be discussed in the political and security cabinet of the new government for further consideration and decision-making. The plan was reportedly formulated by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), Mossad (Israel’s intelligence agency), and representatives from Aman (military intelligence) in the Israel Defense Forces.

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