Germany reportedly working to promote prisoner exchange deal

Germany is reportedly mediating indirect negotiations between Israel and the Hamas terror group regarding a possible prisoner exchange deal that may see the return of IDF soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin and Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, who were killed during Operation Protective Edge.

The deal may also include the return of Israeli citizens Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel.

According to the report, German envoys made several secret visits to the Gaza Strip and met with Hamas officials to discuss the possibility of implementing the prisoner exchange deal.

A German diplomatic delegation has been in contact with and Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In addition, and a new German mediator was appointed for the task and is operating to promote the deal from Berlin.

It is unknown whether the German mediator is making any headway on the matter. Egypt is also said to be involved in the mediation process and monitors its progress.

Tzur Goldin, Hadar’s twin brother said in a Ynet interview that “the return of the captives and missing persons must be “a condition in any humanitarian agreement.”

“We’re not talking about taking food and sustenance from the residents of Gaza, but any solution that could better the situation, to create a different security agenda,” he asserted.

“We have to send a message to Hamas: the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers will not result in the release of Palestinians prisoners or in terrorists’ victories, but rather, Hamas will release all kidnapped captives and think twice about doing it in the future. A humanitarian agreement in return for the humanitarian return of the captives.”

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