Gaza [Palestine] June 1 (ANI): Hamas is ready for "urgent negotiations" with Israel on prisoner exchange, Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip and political bureau chief, said on Monday.
Sinwar made his statement hours after the head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service Abbas Kamel visited the Gaza Strip.
"The matter of prisoner exchanges saw some movement during the past period, but it came to a halt due to what [Israel] went through," Sinwar said, a possible reference to Israel's internal political turmoil and repeated elections, Times of Israel reported.
According to TOI, the Egyptian top spy visited the coastal enclave after a series of meetings in Tel Aviv and Ramallah with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials.
Meanwhile, Al Jazeera reported that a senior Hamas official Khalil al-Haya has given statement after meeting with Kamel, who visited Gaza after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a trip aimed at shoring up an informal ceasefire brokered by Cairo.
"We discussed several files, most importantly the necessity to oblige the occupation to stop its aggression on Gaza, Jerusalem, Sheikh Jarrah and all over Palestine," al-Haya said adding Israel must also fully lift the blockade it imposed on Gaza when Hamas seized power from rival Palestinian forces in 2007 after winning 2006 elections."
"If this happens, then calm and stability could return," he said.
Al-Haya was also expected to announce plans by Cairo to build a housing city in the enclave.
Israel and Hamas concluded 11 days of fighting earlier this month during which hundreds of rockets had launched from both Israel and Palestine sides. According to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, 253 Palestinians were killed during the fighting, including 66 children. While thirteen Israelis, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier, were killed. (ANI)