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Hamas Official: Prisoner Exchange Talks With Israel Begin

The Times of Israel reports: The Hamas terrorist organization is negotiating a prisoner exchange with Israel that would see the release of two Israeli civilians and the remains of two Israel Defense Forces soldiers held in Gaza in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, an unnamed Hamas official said Wednesday.

During an interview with Israel Radio, the official said Hamas would only move forward with the talks after Israel releases hundreds of Palestinians who were rearrested after they were freed in a 2011 deal brokered with the Gaza-based group to secure the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

When asked if Hamas would provide a sign of life from the Israeli civilians, the official said that “everything comes at a price,” and the negotiations would take place out of the media spotlight.

Hamas is holding the remains of soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who were killed in the 2014 Gaza war, as well as 29-year-old Avraham Mengistu and Juma Ibrahim Abu Anima.

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