Hamas: No deal without prisoner exchange
Hamas terror organization refuses sea route between Gaza and Cyprus unless prisoner swap with Israel reached first.
The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, which is affiliated with Hezbollah, reports that Hamas rejected the proposal to create a sea route between Gaza and Cyprus only after a prisoner exchange deal was reached with Israel.
According to the report, Hamas claimed that the issue of prisoner exchange was complicated and that it might take years before a solution was found.
On Wednesday, a political source said that the Israeli Security Cabinet had decided that any future arrangement with Hamas would include the return of the fallen soldiers and civilians held in the Gaza Strip.
“There will be no real arrangement with Hamas without the return of our boys and citizens to the home and the promise of quiet for a long time. The current calm is the result of aggressive IDF activity that will continue as necessary. In light of this, the Kerem Shalom operation was renewed and the fishing area was opened,” the source said.
The Egyptian-brokered deal between Israel and Hamas is expected to include improvement in the humanitarian conditions in Gaza, as well as the construction of a seaport in the Egyptian city of Ismailia and an airport in Sinai.