Hamas political leader Musa Abu Marzouk (R) shakes hands with a Hamas militant as he visits the mourning tent of senior Hamas commander Mohammed Abu Shammala (seen in posters)..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A member of Hamas made it clear Thursday that only they will have authority over prisoner exchange negotiations, and not the Palestinian delegation, which includes the Palestinian Authority.
The comments come as Egypt-mediated negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian delegations are expected to resume shortly following the Jewish holidays.
"The Palestinian delegation has no authority to discuss with Israel anything related to prisoner exchanges or the bodies in the hands of the 'opposition,'" a source, who requested anonymity, told Hamas-affiliated newspaper A-Risallah
"The issue of Israeli prisoners in the hands of the 'opposition' and the bodies that were taken during direct conflict with the [IDF] during the last war is closed" the source said. "In order to discuss this, a new special delegation would have to be created."
Still, the source emphasized that the Palestinian delegation will only be discussing the issue of an airport and sea port once parties finally meet.
The head of Izzadin Kassam, Hamas's military wing, also called Thursday for an "Age of Indendence," meaning a draft age into the Hamas military, while speaking at a the "Shuja'iyya Festival--Fortress of freedom and Gate of Victory" in Gaza.
He said that "members of Izzadin Kassam, and their weapons, are in good shape, and that this message needs to reach all members of the free world."
He said that the Hamas military wing is "above any political or military authority," adding that Operation Protective Edge was only "the beginning of liberation. The next operation will be started by Izzadin Kassam."