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Khalil al-Hayya, one of the leaders of the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip, said on Tuesday that "Israel leaves no other way for the release of the prisoners except for abducting Israeli soldiers and drafting an exchange agreement in which Palestinian security prisoners will be released in exchange for IDF casualties and Israeli missing persons."

In an interview with Al-Jazeera, al-Hayya said that Hamas distinguishes between an exchange deal and the issues of the ceasefire, the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and the siege on the Strip, and informed all mediators that it would not agree to tie these issues to any exchange deal.

He accused Israel of placing obstacles in the path of the execution of the exchange deal, stressing that the Palestinian resistance organizations are willing to reach an agreement in the short term, but in order for this to happen, Israel must be willing to pay the price demanded by Hamas.

Commenting on the ceasefire with Israel, al-Hayya said that "another military confrontation with Israel will break out if Israel harms the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestinian residents in the al-Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem or if one of the hunger striking security prisoners dies."

He added that Hamas has not received any proposal for a long-term ceasefire with Israel, and such a ceasefire is conditional on a political agreement on the establishment of a state and the return of refugees along with additional conditions.

Al-Hayya made clear that Hamas would not agree to a long-term ceasefire in exchange for the restoration of the Gaza Strip and the lifting of the siege.

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