Reports: Qatar to mediate exchange deal between Israel and Hamas

Report claims Israel offered to release 60 terrorists in exchange for soldiers' bodies.

Chana Roberts,

Hamas terrorists in Gaza
Hamas terrorists in Gaza

According to the Arab newspaper Kul al-Arab, a Hamas source claims Israel has agreed to Qatar-led negotiations regarding the bodies of fallen Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and Sergeant Oron Shaul, who were both killed and their bodies kidnapped during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

In addition, the deal would free Avraham Mengistu. Mengistu accidentally strayed into Gaza in September 2014 and has not been seen or heard from since.

The deal would free 60 terrorists who were released in the "Shalit deal" and subsequently arrested for continued terror activities.

According to rumors, Israel would agree to free the terrorists on condition they be expelled to either Gaza or Qatar. However, Hamas rejected this condition.

"Unfortunately, the Prime Minister waved a white flag at Hamas and gave up on bringing Hadar and Oron home. The Israeli government is demonstrating terrible weakness to Hamas," a statement released by the Goldin family said. "Netanyahu releases bodies of terrorists, Hamas prisoners receive deluxe conditions and the government pays the salaries of Hamas terrorists, and the government has not lifted a finger to bring Hadar and Oron home."

"Hadar fell into captivity during a UN-brokered ceasefire. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the UN Security Council bear full responsibility for bringing Hadar back," said Hadar Goldin's father Simcha at a Tel Aviv press conference.

Earlier in January, Israel's Security Cabinet met to discuss possible ways to bring the bodies of Goldin and Shaul home again. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) has said he will not deal with Hamas for dead bodies.