Hamas threatens to kidnap Israelis if no prisoner swap

i24NEWS

2 min read
Hamas Political Bureau Chairman Ismail Haniyeh addresses supporters during a rally in solidarity with the Palestinians in Doha, Qatar, on May 15, 2021.
Karim Jaafar/AFPHamas Political Bureau Chairman Ismail Haniyeh addresses supporters during a rally in solidarity with the Palestinians in Doha, Qatar, on May 15, 2021.

Hamas also wants the exchange to include the six prisoners who escaped Gilboa prison

Top Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh warned on Sunday that the militant faction will kidnap Israelis if there won’t be a prisoner exchange.

“The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades are holding four prisoners inside Gaza, and if Israel is not convinced to reach a deal, Hamas and the al-Qassam battalions will force them” by kidnapping others, official Hamas media announced.

Hamas is believed to be holding two living Israelis - Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed - captive, in addition to the remains of two of Israel’s soldiers - Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.

Haniyeh also reiterated that Hamas wants the swap to include the six prisoners who escaped from Israel's Gilboa prison in September before being recaptured, according to Ynet.

Tensions are high between Israel and Gaza following a Saturday strike from the territory, in which two Hamas rockets landed into the ocean along Israel’s coast.

Video poster

No casualties were reported, and a Hamas official said that the incident was the result of an electrical malfunction, according to The Washington Post.

Israel’s armed forces released a subsequent statement disputing the militant group’s excuse, arguing that “Hamas is responsible and bears the consequences for all activity in and emanating from the Gaza Strip.”

Following the launch, Israel’s military responded by striking a number of Hamas targets in Gaza.