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Israel: Hamas Rejected Deal for Bodies of Fallen Soldiers

The Times of Israel reports: The Hamas terror group recently rejected an Israeli offer to free 18 Palestinians and hand over 19 bodies seized during the 2014 war in Gaza in exchange for the bodies of two IDF soldiers who fell in the 50-day conflict, Israel’s chief negotiator Lior Lotan said Tuesday.

Lotan told the Institute for Anti-Terror Policy that Hamas also refused to hand over two mentally unstable Israelis who crossed into Gaza of their own accord, and are believed held by the organization, in exchange for dozens of Gazans who have been arrested after crossing into Israel illegally, Channel 2 News reported.

Instead, Lotan said, Hamas demanded that Israel release Palestinian prisoners who are not from Gaza and who are not connected to the 2014 war, known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge.

Lotan said that by making these demands, Hamas was going against “norms throughout the world at the end of a confrontation.”

“You exchange captives and soldiers,” he said. “Hamas doesn’t think in the way that we would expect an organization with a political infrastructure to think, an organization that rules a population.”

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