Hamas leaders in Gaza (illustrative)
Hamas leaders in Gaza (illustrative) Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90

Khalil al-Hayya, second in command to Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, on Monday responded to reports regarding a prisoner swap between Israel and the Hamas terror group.

"If Israel does not pay the price of the deal, its captives will not see the light of day," Israel Hayom quoted al-Hayya as saying.

Two living Israelis who are mentally unwell are believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza, along with the bodies of two IDF soldiers killed during a United Nations-brokered ceasefire in 2014's Operation Protective Edge.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, the Hamas official responded to reports that Egypt's intelligence chief plans to visit Israel later this month, and emphasized that Hamas' goal is that archterrorist Marwan Barghouti, a senior Fatah terrorist, and Ahmad Sa'adat, who headed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and planned the murder of Minister Rehavam Ze'evi, be included in any prisoner swap which comes to fruition.

He also claimed that Israel is the one holding up the deal, and that Israel had tried "but failed" to connect the rehabilitation of Gaza following Operation Guardian of the Walls to the prisoner swap.

Al-Hayya also said that Hamas has committed itself to releasing the six terrorists who escaped the Gilboa Prison, and placed them at the top of the list of captives to be freed in a deal. The six were recaptured following their escape and have since been indicted.

Al-Hayya also emphasized Iran's support of Gaza, saying, "Tehran provides Hamas with ongoing aid in every way. It aided and aids the strength and abilities of the opposition in Palestine."