TEL AVIV — Marwan Issa, the deputy commander of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ so-called military wing, joined the group’s delegation led by politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh on a visit to Egypt in recent days, a senior Hamas official told Breitbart Jerusalem.
The Brigades is responsible for scores of deadly suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks targeting Israelis. It is also behind the construction of terror tunnels snaking into Israel and is partially responsible for border security, including along the Egypt-Gaza border
Haniyeh left on Saturday for his first political trip abroad since being elected the leader of Hamas. According to reports, confirmed by the Hamas source, Haniyeh has been joined in Egypt by Saleh al-Arouri, one of the heads of Hamas’ so-called military wing who was recently expelled from Turkey. Arouri is an arch terrorist wanted by Israel for his alleged role in numerous terrorist attacks and plots.
Hamas recently said that during the visit to Egypt, the two sides are to discuss an easing of the blockade on Gaza, reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, and other issues of joint interest to Egypt and Hamas.
The Hamas source said the delegation also expects to discuss the issue of a prisoner exchange deal with Israel. To this purpose, the delegation has been joined by Marwan Issa.
According to the senior Hamas source, Issa is to meet with Egyptian intelligence officials to discuss the issue of prisoners and captives. Hamas is in possession of the bodies of two Israeli soldiers and holds two Israeli citizens captive, both of whom crossed into Gaza under uncertain circumstances.
Hamas said that they aren’t prepared to begin discussing a new deal as long as Israel refuses to release dozens of Palestinian terrorist prisoners arrested after previously being released in an exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
The Hamas source further said that Hamas’ political chief in Gaza, who was formerly an official in the Brigades branch and was also released in the deal for Shalit, is expected to participate in the meetings regarding the issue of prisoners.
The source said that during discussions with the Egyptians, Hamas will present new proposal. One is to ask Israel to hand over the bodies of 30 Hamas jihadists who were killed in the last war in the Gaza Strip. In return, Hamas would agree to give information regarding the fate of the soldiers being held by the terror group.
According to this deal, Hamas is already demanding the release of all those who were rearrested after the Shalit deal.
Another issue that will be the focus of the Hamas delegation’s discussions with Egyptian intelligence is the continuation of the joint effort by the two sides to stop jihadists in the Gaza Strip from infiltrating Sinai as well as the prospect of opening the Rafah border crossing more frequently.
A Hamas delegation is also expected to visit Doha, the capital of Qatar, as well as Tehran.