Egypt working towards prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel

TEL AVIV — Following a visit by Egyptian engineers to the Gaza Strip and a trip by Israeli Foreign Minister Ashkenazi to Cairo, Egypt has proposed a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas in hopes of cementing a comprehensive ceasefire and opening the path towards further political dialogue.

Israel is currently awaiting an offer by Egyptian mediators for a deal that is supposed to include the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel in exchange for the return of the bodies of two Israeli soldiers and the handing over of citizens detained by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, according to a statement by an Israeli security official to the Yediot Aharonot newspaper.

The Israeli official also explained that the Egyptians are interested in the issue and understand that without resolving the issue of prisoners and missing persons, there will be no reconstruction in the wake of the destruction that occurred in the recent military operation.

An Egyptian official familiar with the issue stated that, “We are determined to reach a deal, and there are expectations to put a proposal on the table in the coming days.”