Hamas is said to be holding the remains of soldiers Shaul and Goldin kidnapped during the 2014 conflict
Islamist Gaza-based group Hamas apparently refused requests made by Egyptian intelligence to provide details about the status of IDF soldiers who were killed over three years ago amid fighting in the Strip, the Times of Israel reported on Saturday.According to the Lebanese based Al-Akhbar newspaper reporting on Saturday, Hamas informed Egypt that it was unwilling to negotiate unless Israel fully implemented all provisions of the 2011 Shalit deal where 1,000 Palestinian terrorists were released in exchange for Gilad Shalit’s return.Gilad Shalit was 19-years-old when he was captured on June 25, 2006 by militants who tunneled under Gaza’s border and attacked an army post.
He was eventually released after 1,941 days held hostage in a deal that was perceived to highly controversial by sections of Israeli society.Hamas spokesman Moussa Abu Marzouk last month said that no deal could take place until Israel “fulfills its commitments.” Hamas demands the release of prisoners promised in the deal before talks can begin of the deceased bodies of the two IDF soldiers and three Israeli civilians held by the Islamist group.A large majority of the prisoners released in the Shalit deal have since been arrested again by Israeli security forces. Hamas has long been demanding their re-release as a precondition for negotiations for the return of the bodies of two IDF soldiers and three Israeli citizens believed held by the Gaza-based group.Hamas Twitter New photos of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit's time in Hamas captivity released January 3, 2017.
Hamas is said to be holding the remains of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who the army says were killed during the 2014 summer conflict with Gaza.Despite the IDF initially declaring that Shaul had been killed in battle, Hamas claims Shaul is alive and in captivity. He has since been pronounced “missing in action.”Goldin, was initially considered kidnapped after he was captured by Hamas and smuggled into a tunnel, but has later been determined killed. Sufficient remains of his body were found in order to hold a Jewish funeral.US President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt said in a tweet,
“Hamas must… permit the repatriation of Hadar Goldin’s remains and the release of Oron Shaul, as well as the release of Israeli civilians — Avraham Abera Mengistu, Hisham al-Sayed and Juma Ibrahim Abu Ghanima.”In addition, Avera Mengistu crossed into Gaza in September 2014 during what his family said was a time of acute mental ill health. Two Bedouin citizens of Israel, Hisham Al Sayeed and Jumaa Abu Ghanima, are also believed to be in the coastal enclave.Ghanima, has not been heard from since he was spotted entering the blockaded Strip in July 2016, his status is less clear and many seem to believe he has not been taken hostage by Hamas.Israeli officials have allegedly been holding ongoing negotiations with Hamas via third party mediation bodies to ensure the release of the soldiers and the civilians, however they have not been successful.(Staff with agencies)