The Hamas terror group proposed an “urgent humanitarian prisoner exchange” of Israeli captive Hisham al-Sayed for all ailing Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV outlet reported on Tuesday evening.
Earlier on Tuesday, Hamas published a video of Al-Sayed lying in bed and attached to oxygen and an IV drip, the first-ever glimpse of the Bedouin-Israeli since he was taken captive in 2015.
Egyptian officials have long been involved in trying to negotiate a prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel. According to the Lebanese report, Hamas has now told Egyptian negotiators that they will drop their demands for Israel to release prisoners convicted for terror acts resulting in the deaths of Israelis and those released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit swap who were subsequently arrested.
According to a Channel 12 News report, there are likely dozens of sick Palestinians in Israeli jails. One ailing Palestinian prisoner whom Israel would be reluctant to release is Nasser Abu Hmeid, formerly the commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (Fatah’s military wing) and the mastermind of terror attacks during the Second Intifada that killed seven Israelis.
Israel has reportedly asked Egypt for more detailed information on al-Sayed’s state of health and also conveyed a message that they will hold Hamas responsible for the deterioration of the health of al-Sayed or Avera Mangistau.
Al-Sayed’s father told Radio 103FM on Wednesday morning that any prisoner exchange with Hamas should include all captives, including the bodies of the fallen IDF soldiers, and he is prepared to wait longer for his son’s release so all can be released.
Al-Sayed also said that he is doubtful of Hamas’s claim that his son is ill, saying that his impression from the video was that his son is in good physical health, adding that his son has never suffered from physical health issues, only psychiatric ones.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)