Musa Dudin, a senior Hamas member, has said that all attempts by mediators to reach a prisoner exchange deal between his movement and Israel have failed.
In a statement to Hamas’ media website, Dudin noted that five Arab and western countries have tried in vain to forge a swap deal.
Despite the efforts of Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Sweden, and Germany, no progress has been made on the exchange of prisoners, the official said, accusing Israel of intransigence.
Dudin stressed that Israel’s arrest of Palestinians, who had been previously detained, contributed to the collapse of discussions.
“A new deal cannot be made until the occupation releases the new detainees. [When that happens], the rest of the conditions will evolve naturally in indirect negotiations,” he said.
Asharq Al-Awsat had published a report about the failure of negotiations on a swap deal over Israel’s rejection to release detainees, who had been freed under a former agreement, but got re-arrested.
Dudin’s remarks contradicted Israeli reports on progress in the negotiations.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Jerusalem with families of Israelis held by Hamas, in the presence of Yaron Blum, the coordinator of prisoners and missing persons.
Netanyahu told the families that Israel was making efforts through formal and informal channels to return their loved-ones home.
Dudin said Netanyahu was misleading the families.
Parents and relatives of prisoners held by Hamas accuse the Israeli government of neglecting their cause and not working seriously to return them to Israel.