Hamas reveals mediation with Israel over prisoner swap

Hamas reveals mediation with Israel over prisoner swap
Egypt is brokering negotiations on a proposed prisoner swap between Israel and the Hamas rulers of Gaza, taking advantage of a renewed truce between them. (File/AFP)
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Updated 12 September 2020

Hamas reveals mediation with Israel over prisoner swap

Hamas reveals mediation with Israel over prisoner swap
  • The delegation held a round of talks in Israel sandwiched between two rounds of talks in Gaza on Thursday and Friday
  • Hamas demanded that Israel restore the freedom of all prisoners who had been arrested since their release under the last swap deal in 2011

CAIRO: Hours after an Egyptian security delegation visited Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas political bureau, revealed that Egypt is mediating between the militant group and Israel to reach a new agreement on a prisoner swap.

Haniyeh told journalists in Beirut on Friday that Hamas welcomes Cairo’s role in arranging a new prisoner swap.

“The brothers in Egypt are following up on many files, including reconciliation, the siege, the Rafah crossing and the prisoner swap,” he said.

Haniyeh did not clarify whether there has been progress in the prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel.

Israel says that Hamas has held four Israeli soldiers captive since launching an attack on the Gaza Strip in 2014.

On Friday, the Egyptian intelligence service delegation left for Israel following a 24-hour visit to Gaza.

Sources told Palestinian newspapers that security officials led by Maj. Gen. Ahmed Abdel Khalek met with Hamas leaders, including Rawhi Mushtaha, to discuss issues related to Palestine.

Last August, the delegation visited Gaza for talks with Hamas leaders to confirm cease-fire agreements reached in late 2018.

Maj. Gen. Tawfiq Abu Naim, a Ministry of the Interior spokesman in Gaza, said Egyptian delegation’s visit is expected to “yield positive results in terms of the situation in Gaza, not just the opening of the Rafah crossing.”

He said that Egypt “has always sought to meet the needs of Gaza.”


Swedish-Iranian scientist may face imminent execution, say rights groups

Updated 02 December 2020

Swedish-Iranian scientist may face imminent execution, say rights groups

Swedish-Iranian scientist may face imminent execution, say rights groups
  • Djalali was arrested in Iran in 2016 and later convicted of espionage
  • Iran's Supreme Court in 2017 upheld the death sentence

DUBAI: Swedish-Iranian scientist Ahmadreza Djalali, sentenced to death in Iran on espionage charges, may face imminent execution, rights groups said on Tuesday.
"On 1 December, a judge said Ahmadreza was to be transferred to Rajai Shahr prison TODAY to proceed with his imminent execution," Amnesty International said on Twitter.
"His lawyer was informed that Ahmadreza would be transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison ... today (Tuesday, Dec. 1)," Iran Human Rights said in a statement, quoting his wife Vida Mehrannia.
There was no official Iranian reaction to the reports.
Sweden's foreign minister said last week she had spoken to her Iranian counterpart after reports Iran may soon carry out Djalali's death sentence.
Djalali, a medical doctor and lecturer at the Karolinska Institute in the Swedish capital Stockholm, was arrested in Iran in 2016 and later convicted of espionage, having been accused of providing information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists. Iran's Supreme Court in 2017 upheld the death sentence.
Rights activists have accused Iran of arresting a number of dual nationals to try to win concessions from other countries. Tehran has regularly dismissed the accusation. (Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Alex Richardson)