Middle East Monitor / July 7, 2021
Israel yesterday renewed its condition that the reconstruction of Gaza will only take place following the release of four Israeli prisoners of war it believes are being held there, Anadolu reported.
“Rebuilding the Gaza Strip is conditioned on the release of four Israelis lost or detained in Gaza,” Haim Regev, an official at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the UN Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC).
Norway, AHLC head, called for the meeting which was attended by Israeli, Palestinian, US, EU and UN officials
Hamas said it detained two Israeli soldiers during the 51-day Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2014. However, Israel believes the resistance movement captured four of its nationals, two of whom it says were non-combatants.
Hamas has repeatedly stressed that it will not allow the issue of the reconstruction of Gaza to be tied to any potential prisoner swap with the occupation.
Israel launched a wide-scale offensive on Gaza between 11-21 May, during which it killed more than 266 people, including 67 children and 41 women and 16 elderly. Tens of thousands were forced out of their homes as a result.