Hamas Says Ready To Swap All Detained Israeli Soldiers For Palestinian Prisoners

In the midst of talks to extend a truce over Gaza, a top Hamas official stated on Wednesday that the Islamist movement is ready to free all Israeli soldiers it is holding captive in exchange for all Palestinian captives detained in Israel.

Hamas spokesman and former Gaza health minister Bassem Naim claimed the organization was in “hard negotiations” to extend a cease-fire that was set to conclude early Thursday after a six-day halt in violence.

“We are ready to release all soldiers in exchange for all our prisoners,” Naim told a press conference in Cape Town, during a visit to South Africa.

In an extraordinary October 7 attack, Gaza terrorists abducted over 240 hostages from southern Israel, killing approximately 1,200 people, the majority of whom were civilians, according to Israeli officials.

In response, Israel has pledged to destroy Hamas and has launched an air and ground campaign that the Hamas administration claims has killed approximately 15,000 people, the majority of whom are civilians.

To the delight of their families, sixty Israeli hostages and 180 Palestinian detainees were released under the truce accord.

Soldiers who are not included in the exchange agreement are among the captives still held by Hamas, and the Islamist movement is likely to use them as a major bargaining point.

More than 1,000 Palestinians were swapped in 2011 for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been kidnapped by Hamas five years before.

According to activist groups, there are over 7,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails, many of whom are significantly more prominent than the young men and women who have been released thus far.

In October, Hamas asked that Israel release all Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of all hostages.

The fresh suggestion came as efforts to extend the cease-fire increased, with a source close to the terrorist organization claiming Hamas was willing to extend the truce for another four days in exchange for the release of more Israeli hostages.

“We are trying with the mediators to negotiate a permanent ceasefire,” Naim said.

Earlier, Israel’s army said it was looking into a report by Hamas’ armed wing that a 10-month-old infant captive, his four-year-old brother, and their mother were all killed in Gaza.

“We have confirmed two to three weeks ago that 60 Israelis have been killed under Israeli bombardment and are still under the rubble,” Naim said.

“The woman and her two children are among them, I can confirm that.”

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