Former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister and senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh denied on Friday reports that the Hamas regime in Gaza had opened negotiations with Israel over the return of the bodies of two IDF soldiers murdered in 2014.
The bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed by Hamas terrorists in 2014, have been held by the terror group, which has demanded that Israel free dozens of security prisoners as a precondition to talks over the return of the fallen soldiers’ remains.
Israeli officials reported last week that Israel had opened communications with the terror group in the hopes of negotiating the return of soldier’s remains and the return of two Israeli civilians held captive by Hamas.
Speaking at an Eid al-Fitr event on Friday, Haniyeh said Hamas would not consider talks with Israel until security prisoners released under previous agreements, who returned to terror and were then taken into custody again, be freed.
“There will be no negotiations in connection with the captives until the occupation state will be obligated to the previously worked out agreement,” said Haniyeh.
Reflecting on the recent wave of murderous terror attacks, Haniyeh said “The dream of the Palestinian people is no fantasy – it is the reality we are living in.”