Egyptian officials ask Hamas about missing Israelis

Senior Egyptian intelligence officials have reportedly made inquiries about the IDF soldiers who were killed during Operation Protective Edge and then snatched by Hamas, London-based al Araby al Jadeed reported on Sunday.

The Egyptian officials said that they discussed the fate of the “missing Israeli soldiers” with Hamas, apparently referring to the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul as well as Avra Mangisto, an Israeli civilian who accidentally crossed into Gaza, and another unnamed Bedouin man.

The Egyptian officials raised the issue after a high-ranking Hamas delegation, which included Mousa Abu Marzook, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, Khalil Al-Hayya, Imad Al-Alami, and Nizar Awadallah, asked them about the fate of four Hamas members who were kidnapped on the Egyptian side of Rafah a few months ago.

Palestinian and Egyptian officials quoted by al Araby al Jadeed claimed that the Egyptian inquiry is a part of ongoing negotiations between Egypt and Hamas to open the Rafah crossing and end “the official Egyptian war against Hamas.” Egypt also reportedly wants to restore its role of interlocutor between Israel and Hamas.

Hamas officials have said that prisoner swap negotiations with Israel are happening all over the place. Last Friday, Abu Obeida, a spokesperson of Hamas’s armed wing, published archived photos of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, Avra Mangisto, and another person.