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Hamas says it seeks full prisoners' swap deal with Israel

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-05 21:11

GAZA - Islamic Hamas movement said Sunday it seeks reaching a full prisoners' swap deal with Israel via a broker, a spokesman for the movement in Gaza said.

Abdulatif al-Qanou denied earlier Israeli reports saying that Hamas rejected an Israeli offer to free two Israeli civilians for the release of a brother of a senior Gaza Hamas leader.

"Hamas hasn't received any offer for a prisoners exchange and so far there is still no deal with Israel," said al-Qanou, adding that Hamas welcomes Egypt's mediation to finalize a full prisoners swap deal with Israel.

Israel Public Radio had earlier reported that Hamas welcomed an Egyptian mediation for reaching a prisoners swap deal, but rejected an Israeli proposal for a humanitarian swap deal of two Israelis.

"Hamas won't talk on any deal before Israel shows commitment to the terms of the first swap deal, which is to release all those were freed in 2011 deal and were re-arrested again," he said.

In October 2011, Egypt brokered the first-ever prisoners swap deal between Israel and Hamas, where the latter freed an Israeli soldier for an Israeli release of 1,028 prisoners from its jails, including women and children.

However, Israel arrested and resentenced dozens of Hamas prisoners in the West Bank, who were released in the 2011 deal. Hamas said they should first get released before starting to talk about a new deal.

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