Israel pressuring Hamas to reach deal for captives' return

Egyptian official claims Israel is working to pressure Gaza leadership and Egypt to reduce tensions and reach deal - but with little success

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

אורון שאול, הדר גולדין, אברה מנגיסטו
אורון שאול, הדר גולדין, אברה מנגיסטו
צילום: באדיבות המשפחות

]Israel is working to pressure the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza to reach a deal aimed at reducing tensions and to secure the release of Israeli captives and the return of two fallen IDF soldiers being held in the Gaza Strip, senior Egyptian intelligence officials have claimed.

According to a report in Israel Hayom Monday morning, Israel is working to convince Hamas to move forward with negotiations for the release of Israeli captives, telling Hamas’ leadership via Egyptian intermediaries that the Turkish government is willing to join the negotiations.

One senior Egyptian official told Israel Hayom that “Israel is trying through various means to induce Hamas and Egypt to move forward with talks.”

“Israel’s attempt to convey the message that Turkey is prepared to broker a deal for the release of captives essentially strengthens Hamas’ claim that there are really two separate deals – one, a long-term agreement, and two, a deal to release the captives. Right now, the broader talks between the two sides aren’t going anywhere.”

Senior officials in Cairo say Israel is disappointed from Egypt’s behavior as an intermediary between the Jewish state and Hamas, in particular with regard to efforts to broker a deal for the release of Israeli captives held in Gaza. Israel, the officials said, believes Egypt has failed to apply pressure on Hamas to move forward with a deal and suspects that Egypt has adopted Hamas’ position that the two separate negotiation tracks should be pursued – one for maintaining a quiet front between Israel and Gaza in exchange for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, and a second aimed at returning Israeli captives.