Renewed talks between Israel and Hamas in Cairo end with no deal

Sources close to Hamas have reported that Israel met with the terrorist organization in Cairo over the weekend to negotiate a deal: Information regarding Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin in exchange for releasing Palestinian prisoners. The Israeli government has not yet confirmed rumors of the meeting, nor have the Shaul or Goldin families received news of the talks.
Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Details of a secret meeting between Israel and Hamas were revealed Saturday evening to Channel 2 News by Palestinian sources involved in the talks. The sources confirmed that the last round of negotiations ended in Cairo, Egypt, at around 9:10 pm yesterday (Friday) and that both sides left without reaching an agreement. They did report cautious optimism on Hamas' end, who had apparently hoped that the talks would come to a close over the weekend.

According to the reports, no date was set for a follow-up meeting. The terms of the deal: In exchange for information on the bodies of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin and regarding the condition of the other Israelis held in Gaza, Hamas demanded the release of female Palestinian prisoners, of Palestinian minors in Israeli prisons and of 58 prisoners from the Shalit deal who had been reincarecerated by Israel.

Zehava Shaul: "I was not updated" Photo Credit: Basel Awidat, Flash 90/ Channel 2 News

At this stage, the Israeli government has not responded to rumors of the failed talks nor to the terms set by Hamas. According to the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, the deal, had it been agreed upon, would have been carried out within three months, during which the bodies of the soldiers and the civilians will have been returned to Israel. Hamas has said in the past that the price for a deal would be a heavy one and would include the release of Marwan Barghouti, Ahmed Saadat and others.

The Shaul family said in response to rumors of the failed negotiations that "we only heard news of the developments from media reports and we have no idea if the information is true or not." They also called on Netanyahu not to leave their sons in Hamas' hands and said that "our lives have become hell. For us, the war is still not over." Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin were killed in action by Hamas during Operation Protective Edge, Israel's defensive war, in 2014. Hamas has been holding their bodies hostage ever since.

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