Hamas 'rejects prisoner release' amid Gaza power struggle

Hamas 'rejects prisoner release' amid Gaza power struggle
The embattled Gaza Strip was reportedly offered an electricity supply in exchange for an Israeli soldier's corpse, the solder's father has said.
2 min read
17 September, 2015
Hamas fighters stand guard outside a mock-up cell holding an Israeli soldier [AFP]
The father of Hadar Goldin, a missing Israeli soldier, has told Israeli Channel 2 News that Hamas has refused to release the body of his son.

The deal on the table is understood to have included supplying Gaza with electricity in exchange for the release of the corpse.

The report comes as unrest continues in Gaza due to an escalating power crisis in the blockaded coastal strip.

"The Hamas movement rejected an offer made by the businessmen, to supply electricity to Gaza for the immediate release of Israeli soldiers in its custody, or their bodies," Goldin said.

Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and Sergeant Oron Shaul went missing in Gaza during the 2014 war and are presumed dead.

Ahmed Bahar, the deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, appeared to confirm the reports in a press statement on Thursday.

"We in Gaza are willing to live in darkness if this means our prisoners can see the light of freedom. We will not rest until we clear all the prisons from their detainees," Bahar said.

Bahar called on armed Palestinian factions and, in particular, the Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, to work on freeing Palestinian prisoners by kidnapping more Israeli soldiers to use in exchanges.

Meanwhile in Gaza, the lines carrying electricity from Israel to the northern Gaza strip failed due to a technical issue. The line from Egypt has been cut off for the past four days.

Protests against the electricity company have given rise to Hamas and Fatah mutually blaming each other for the crisis.