Hamas Wants the Release of Marwan Barghouti in Exchange for Israeli Hostages; Netanyahu is Opposed
Hamas has made a demand for the release of Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti as part of a hostage deal with Israel. Barghouti, the head of Tanzim, an armed faction of Fatah, was arrested by Israeli security forces in the West Bank city of Ramallah in 2002. He was later convicted on multiple counts of murder and attempted murder, as well as membership in a terrorist organization, and sentenced to five consecutive life sentences and an additional 40 years.
“Hamas wants to show to the Palestinian people that they are not a closed movement,” Qadoura Fares, the Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Ministry head told the Associated Press. “They represent part of the Palestinian social community. They are trying to seem responsible.”
Despite ongoing efforts to secure the freedom of the hostages still in Hamas captivity, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out against any potential deal that would be disadvantageous to Israel. He emphasized that Israel would not accept an unfavorable hostage deal and would not agree to any deal, and not at any price. While Netanyahu did not explicitly rule out trading high-profile Palestinian prisoners, such as Barghouti, he made it clear that there would be no cessation of the war without achieving all its goals.