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Why Hamas needs a prisoner-swap deal with Israel

Hamas seems to believe the only way to battle the frustration of Gaza residents over their desperate economic situation and corrupt leadership is to announce another prisoner exchange.
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What motivated the speaker of Hamas' military arm on April 1, when he showed photographs of four Israelis — two soldiers killed in Operation Protective Edge and two civilians currently held prisoner by Hamas — on TV? Hamas ostensibly wanted to deny that it was engaged in negotiations over the fate of two bodies and two civilian hostages. In fact, the situation is far more complex.

Today, Hamas still has the bodies of Israeli soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul. It also holds two civilians who crossed the border from Israel into Gaza: Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayyad, a resident of the Bedouin settlement of Hura. At the request of his family, the media was banned from releasing the young Bedouin's name. Once Hamas showed his name and photo on air, however, his father spoke out, saying that his son is mentally ill and in need of treatment.

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