GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Palestinian resistance group Hamas on Sunday denied any progress in Egypt-mediated talks to broker a prisoner swap with Israel.
Israeli media reports said that progress has been made in talks for a prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas.
“There is no progress until now,” senior Hamas member Zaher Jabareen said in a statement. “The (Israeli) occupation is unable to make any serious steps on this file.”
He said the Israeli media reports claiming progress in the prisoner swap talks “aim to prevent families of captured (Israeli) soldiers from pressuring the government.”
“Israel does not have any intention to accomplish any prisoner swap deal,” he added.
On Saturday, Israeli lawmaker Emilie Moatti said progress has been made toward a prisoner swap deal with Hamas.
“There is progress on the issue of the prisoners and missing persons. It is sensitive and confidential and there are moves that I will not detail, but I am optimistic that they will be home soon,” said Moatti, a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
“It is based on a review we received 3 weeks ago that I will not detail,” she added.
Hamas, which rules Gaza, holds four Israelis captive, including two soldiers captured during the Israeli war on the territory in the summer of 2014. The other two are civilians who entered Gaza under unclear circumstances.
The Palestinian group, which has not disclosed information about the conditions of the four Israeli hostages, demands the release of Palestinians in Israeli prisons in exchange for Israelis in captivity.
At least 4,650 Palestinians are held by Israel, according to Palestinian estimates.