Hamas armed wing won't update Israel on captured soldiers

The armed wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas said it would not provide information on Israeli soldiers held by the militant group

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The armed wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas Friday said it would not provide information on Israeli soldiers held by the militant group unless Israel was willing to “pay a price”.

The movement in January had raised the prospect of exchanging an Israeli soldier declared dead in Gaza’s 2014 war in return for Palestinian prisoners.

“We guarantee that there is currently no exchange or discussions concerning prisoners,” Abu Obeida, spokesman for the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said in a televised address Friday.

He added that Israel would not be given information on the fate of “four soldiers” unless the Jewish state “pay a price” in return.

Israeli soldiers, dead or alive, have in the past proved valuable bargaining chips for Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007.

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