Hamas says efforts underway to free Palestinian detainees held by Israel


Ismail Haniyeh made phone call with recently released Palestinian woman Anhar al-Deek, according to Hamas statement.

RAMALLAH, Palestine

Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh has assured Palestinians that efforts are ongoing to free detainees held by Israel.

“The efforts made by Hamas to secure the release of all Palestinian detainees from Israeli prisons are still ongoing,” Haniyeh said during a phone call with Anhar al-Deek to congratulate her on her release from an Israeli prison, according to a Hamas statement on Saturday.

On Thursday, an Israeli court ruled to conditionally release al-Deek, who is nine months pregnant.

“The Ofer Military Court decided to release her on a financial bail of 40,000 shekels ($12,500) while also putting her under house arrest in her family’s home in the town of Kafr Ni’ma (west of Ramallah),” her lawyer Akram Samara said.

Haniyeh vowed to make the issue of detainees “at the top of [Hamas] priorities” and praised the detainees for their steadfastness.

There are around 4,850 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, including 41 women, 225 children, and 540 administrative detainees, according to rights groups.

Meanwhile, Hamas holds captive four Israelis, including two soldiers.

Egypt is leading mediation efforts between Israel and Hamas to reach a prisoner swap between the two sides.