'We'll demand security prisoners be freed in Schalit deal'

Hamas spokesman says Egypt will mediate second phase of deal to free 550 prisoners; Abu Ubaida: Priority given to elderly, sick prisoners.

Palestinian prisoners enter Gaza 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian prisoners enter Gaza 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas on Wednesday announced that Egypt will oversee the release of 550 Palestinian prisoners as part of the second phase of the prisoner swap in exchange for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.

Abu Ubaida, spokesman for Hamas's armed wing, Izzadin al-Kassam
said that the group would demand that the list of prisoners to be released include mainly those who were arrested on security charges. He also stressed that priority would be given to sick and elderly prisoners.
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The Hamas spokesman said that Egypt indicated it will play a mediation role to ensure the implementation of the second phase of the prisoner release deal, the first phase of which saw 477 prisoners released on Tuesday. Egypt will ensure Hamas' conditions are met, he added.

On Tuesday, Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh decided to give $2,000 to the families of those prisoners who were released on Tuesday, Hamas-affiliate Al Resalah reported.
Haniyeh also expressed support for those prisoners who were unable to return to their homes in the West Bank and were instead relocated in Gaza.

"You are immigrants, and we are your support," Haniyeh said according to Al Resalah, adding that their relocation was not a dismissal because "Gaza is a part of Palestine.