A Hamas official on Tuesday revealed that a a terrorist swap is expected to occur imminently, in a proposed deal that would see Israel release hundreds of jailed terrorists in exchange for the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul hy"d.
The official, Mohammed Attoun, told the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency that "we hereby confirm there will be good omens very soon and the occupation will yield, whether they like it or not, just as they did before."
The comment is a reference to the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal, in which the abducted IDF soldier was released by Hamas in Gaza in exchange for 1,027 jailed terrorists - many of whom immediately returned to terror.
Attoun, a Hamas terrorist from Jerusalem who was jailed and recently released and forbidden from returning to the city, added "I can confirm that there will be a deal soon to free our prisoners," without elaborating on details of the potential swap.
He also hinted that the release of 63 terrorists who were freed in the Shalit deal only to be re-arrested will be a demand of Hamas before it discusses other releases.
The statements come after Hamas "political wing" official Muhammad Nazal last Thursday announced his terrorist organization is preparing for the start of a channel of negotiations with Israel over the terrorist swap deal. According to Nazal, the talks will likely take place in Cairo with Egyptian intermediaries, in talks separate from the Cairo truce talks.
The week before, Hamas official Mushir al-Masri likewise said "Hamas has a bargaining chip, by forcing Israel to accept Palestinian demands. Ongoing indirect negotiations, brokered by Egypt, may lead to a new deal for prisoner releases. We will release as many Palestinian prisoners as possible."
Many of the terrorists released in the Shalit deal returned immediately to violent terrorism, prime among them Ziyad Awad, who murdered police Chief Superintendent Col. Baruch Mizrahi hy''d in April while aided by his 18-year-old son Az a-Din.