The Palestinian movement Hamas will be able to make another prisoner swap deal with Israel, a senior Hamas leader said yesterday.
Four Israeli soldiers have been missing since the 50-day Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip in 2014. The comments by Mahmoud al-Zahar, made during a rally in Rafah to mark Hamas’ 29th anniversary, once again raised the question of whether those Israeli soldiers are still alive.
Earlier this year, a spokesman for the armed wing of Hamas — the Al-Qassam Brigades — implied in a television interview that the group was in possession of the four but was not in contact with Israel about them.
In the summer of 2014, Israel waged a large-scale military operation on the Gaza Strip that left 2,200 Palestinians and 70 Israelis killed in addition to the four missing Israeli soldiers.
Israel has repeatedly claimed that the soldiers were killed during the military operation and asked Hamas to return their corpses. Hamas however has not said whether the four soldiers are dead or alive. 
In 2010, Egypt brokered a prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas, in which Israel released 1,028 male and female prisoners for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured by Gaza militants in 2006.

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