Senior Hamas officials on Sunday urged the abduction of Israeli soldiers to facilitate another large-scale prisoner swap, similar to the 2011 deal in which 1,027 Palestinian prisoners were released in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
“We strive for an abduction operation that would make a second Shalit possible,” Hamas lawmaker Mushir al-Masri said in an interview with Palestinian media.
“Over 1,000 of our Palestinian brothers who were incarcerated in the Zionist occupation’s prisons were released as part of that deal, and only through operations similar to the Shalit deal can we hope to facilitate the release of more prisoners,” added al-Masri.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh echoed that sentiment, saying, “Hamas leadership is debating ways to secure the release of prisoners from the Israeli occupation’s prisons. We would welcome any action that would bring about the prisoners’ release. They symbolize the just Palestinian struggle.”