Security officials confirm that negotiations are underway to return two Israeli captives, bodies of two fallen IDF soldiers, in exchange for transfer of terrorists to Jordanian prisons.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Israel and Gaza-based terror group Hamas are gearing up for a prisoner exchange, senior officials from Israeli security agencies confirmed to The Media Line on Tuesday.
According to an exclusive report from the outlet, intense negotiations, currently underway, would result in Hamas’s release of two mentally ill Israelis and the bodies of two IDF soldiers killed in the Strip in 2014 in exchange for the freedom of several convicted Hamas terrorists.
The Media Line report did not indicate how many prisoners would be released for the four Israelis.
The terms of the Qatari- and Egyptian-brokered agreement would see Hamas prisoners transferred to Jordanian correctional facilities, where they would likely spend five to ten years incarcerated.
After a stint in Jordanian prison, the prisoners would then be granted royal amnesty by King Abdullah II and released.
However, the prisoners would be banned from leaving Jordan and prohibited from returning to Gaza or Palestinian Authority-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria.
Hamas denied the report in a laconic statement, with a spokesman saying that the terror group “denies the information circulated in Israeli media outlets about progress in prisoner swap talks.”
“Hamas will continue to work hard towards liberating all Palestinian detainees by all means possible,” the statement concluded.
However, Fadi Farah, head of Jordan’s National Committee for Prisoners and Missing Persons in Israeli Detention Centers, told The Media Line that numerous prisoners affiliated with Hamas have already signed paperwork agreeing to be transferred to Jordan.
“At least four prisoners have agreed to the suggestion, while others have yet to be asked to sign this agreement,” Farah said.
“From the Israeli side, this [return of prisoners to Jordan] would lessen the cost of the deal with Hamas as the Israelis will make the transfer as part of the deal rather than releasing long-held prisoners.”
After prominent terrorist Nasser Abu Hamid died last week in Israeli custody, Israeli authorities declined to return the body to his family.
The move sparked speculation that Israel is holding the body as leverage for future negotations.