According to a member of Israel’s government, Labor MK Emilie Moatti, significant progress has been made toward reaching a deal between Israel and Hamas regarding the return of two Israeli civilians and the bodies of two IDF soldiers to Israel from Gaza. Talks took place in November as well, but no results were forthcoming at the time.
Moatti serves as a member of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and made the comments to the press during an event in Petah Tikva on Motzei Shabbos.
“There is progress on the issue of the prisoners and missing persons. It is sensitive and confidential and there are moves that I will not detail, but I am optimistic that they will be home soon,” Moatti said.
“It is based on a review we received 3 weeks ago that I will not detail,” she added.
In spite of Moatti’s confidence, other security officials denied any progress has been made, according to Israeli media reports.
Talks between Israel and Hamas in order to return the Israeli civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed who both entered the Strip of their own accord, and whose families say suffer from mental illness, as well as the remains of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin. Shaul and Goldin were both killed in Operation Protective Edge inside the Gaza Strip and their bodies were never recovered by Israel.
Sources among family members posted on Twitter saying that they were not getting their hopes up, nor did they receive an update from the government regarding any progress.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)