Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail HaniyehFlash 90

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh reiterated that "the four prisoners, the soldiers of the occupation, held by Al-Qassam Brigades, will not see the (light of the) sun until the Palestinian prisoners enjoy the [light] of freedom."

Hamas leaders regularly refer to the Israelis being held in Gaza, both IDF casualties and Israeli civilians, as "prisoners" and "soldiers" and do not provide details about their fate.

Haniyeh noted that the issue of the release of security prisoners is a top priority for Hamas, saying that this activity is conducted on two levels - one, support for the resistance they are waging in prison and the other in the form of activity for their full release from Israeli prisons.

Haniyeh also said that Hamas learned from the Shalit 2 deal that "this enemy (Israel) does not give anything except when it is forced to."

He further stated that the situation after the military confrontation last May is completely different from the situation that existed before, as it let towards the end of the “occupation” and the resolution of the historic conflict over the Zionist enterprise on Palestinian soil.

Hamas has been holding the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul since the 2014 Operation Protective Edge.

In addition, two Israeli civilians who went missing in Gaza - Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed - are believed to be held by Hamas as well.