Middle East

Hamas chief in Gaza 'ready to conduct' prisoner swap with Israel

Hamas armed wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, says it is holding as many as 250 hostages, including soldiers, civilians

Hamdi Yılmaz  | 29.10.2023 - Update : 29.10.2023
Hamas chief in Gaza 'ready to conduct' prisoner swap with Israel

GAZA CITY, Palestine

The head of Hamas in Gaza said Saturday his group is ready to strike an immediate prisoner swap deal with Israel.

Yahya al-Sinwar said the Palestinian resistance group is "ready to conduct an immediate prisoners exchange deal" with Israel in a brief statement -- his first since the start of fighting between Palestinian groups and Israel on Oct. 7.

He added that the deal must include "the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails in exchange for all prisoners held by the Palestinian resistance."

An Israeli army spokesman said the offer was "psychological terror" by Hamas.

Early Saturday, the military wing of Hamas, Al-Qassam Brigades, said it is ready for a prisoner exchange deal that will "empty Israeli prisons" and allow the return of all Palestinian and Israeli prisoners, either in the form of one comprehensive deal or in stages.

Al-Qassam Brigades said earlier that it is holding 200 - 250 hostages, including soldiers and civilians.

The Israeli army has so far acknowledged 230 "hostages in Gaza."

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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