JERUSALEM – A spokesperson for Hamas said the terror group “is saving” something that “will surprise the world” during future prisoner exchanges with Israel.
Abu Obeida, the spokesperson for Hamas’s military wing, threatened that Israel would “pay a compulsory price” for the freedom of two Israeli citizens held in Gaza as well as the remains of two IDF soldiers killed in the 2014 summer conflict, the Times of Israel reported.
“The world and our prisoners will be surprised when the right time comes to fully reveal the facts that the resistance is saving for the sake of the freedom of our prisoners,” he said on Hamas-run Al-Aqsa Television.
The bodies of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, as well as 29-year-old Avraham Mengistu and Juma Ibrahim Abu Anima are currently being held in Gaza.
On Tuesday, Hamas marked five years since returning captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.
During the speech, Abu Obeidah accused Israel of “spreading lies and misleading its public” as well as “evading the payment for a new prisoner exchange deal.”
Last month, Israel’s chief negotiator Lior Lotan said Hamas had turned down an Israeli offer to release 18 Palestinian prisoners and hand over 19 bodies seized during the 2014 war in Gaza in exchange for the two Israeli captives and the bodies of the soldiers.
According to Lotan, Hamas demanded that Israel release other Palestinian prisoners unrelated to the war.
Hamas said in response that Israel wasn’t serious about a prisoner exchange deal.