Khalil al-Haya, a member of the Hamas Politburo and a senior member of the movement in the Gaza Strip, sent a strong message to Israel amid continuing difficulties in negotiating an exchange deal in which captive IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians will be returned in exchange for the release of Palestinian Arab security prisoners.
In an interview with Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV channel, al-Haya said that "prisoners of the occupation will never see the light until our prisoners of freedom see it", emphasizing that Hamas has adhered to its demand for a new deal and is ready to carry it out if Israel carries out its obligations. Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar recently hinted that Hamas would demand the release of 1,111 security prisoners.
He warned Israel against continuing the "criminal" policy towards security prisoners in Israeli prisons and in a message to security prisoners said: "We stand by your side, we will never leave you alone in the confrontation with the actions of the occupation and harm committed against you."
In another context, al-Haya said that Hamas would not agree to grant Israel an unconditional ceasefire and demanded, and could even forcibly extract, the complete lifting of the siege on the Gaza Strip. Al-Haya threatened that if Israel did not act in accordance with Hamas' demands, Hamas would re-escalate the security situation.