CAIRO, December 3. /TASS/. Palestine’s Hamas movement ruled out the possibility of swapping hostages held by radicals in the Gaza Strip for Palestinians jailed in Israel as long as the Jewish state continues its aggression.
"At present, no negotiations are being conducted [with the Israeli side], and Hamas’ final stance is that there will be no swaps until full and final cessation of aggression," Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri was quoted as saying in a statement, posted on the movement’s official Telegram channel.
Al-Arouri said that from the very outset of the current conflict, Hamas "was ready to release foreigners without any compensation," as well as women and children.
"The rest of the individuals that we hold are either soldiers or former military, and there will be no negotiations about them until the aggression is stopped," he said.
The senior Hamas official added that the Israeli government "refused to finalize the deal to swap the former [Israeli] servicemen [held by Hamas] on different conditions" and resumed their attacks.
He added that "the hostages cannot be returned by violence," adding that the only possible way for Israel is to seek their release "on the terms of the [Palestinian] resistance."
The Hamas deputy chief reiterated that "the price for Israeli hostages is the release of all [Palestinian] prisoners [from Israeli prisons] after a ceasefire."
On the morning of December 1, the Israel Defense Forces accused Hamas of violating the ceasefire and announced the resumption of hostilities in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian government held the United States responsible for the resumption of Israel’s ground operation in Gaza.