Gaza -

A source close to the Palestinian resistance factions affiliated with the "joint operations room" in the Gaza Strip revealed that the indirect negotiations led by Egypt between the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Israel;

It is still ongoing and has not stopped, in order to reach an agreement to exchange prisoners.

The source told Al Jazeera Net that the negotiations are progressing slowly, and Hamas is "managing the scene in a professional manner", and is working to achieve the largest possible achievement of the exchange deal, including the release of prisoners, and the improvement of the humanitarian situation in the besieged Gaza Strip for 14 years.

Two-stage deal

The source - who preferred to remain anonymous - explained that recently there has been progress in the positions of the two parties;

On the one hand, Israel, its new government headed by Naftali Bennett, realizes that it will not succeed in putting pressure on Hamas or blackmailing it, by linking the file of the captured soldiers to the files of the siege and reconstruction.

On the other hand, Hamas believes - especially after the recent war on Gaza and the deterioration of the living conditions of two million Palestinians there - that it is time to conclude an exchange deal in which hundreds of prisoners are liberated, guarantees a breakthrough in the siege, and removes Israeli restrictions on commercial movement and the Qatari grant, according to the same source.

The source said that the Egyptian mediator saw this development in the positions of the two parties, and submitted a proposal to implement the deal in two stages.

The first includes the release by Hamas of the Israelis Abraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed - who entered Gaza in mysterious circumstances years ago - and the provision of information about the two soldiers Hadar Goldin and Shaul Aron, who were captured by the movement during the 2014 war, and refused to disclose their fate since then.

In return - and the talk of the same source - Israel will release at this stage the prisoners of children and women, whose number is estimated at 300.

Egypt presented this proposal to Hamas, which demanded that this stage also include the release of the editors of the "Wafaa al-Ahrar Deal", known as the "Shalit Deal".

And Israel re-arrested dozens of them in 2014, after Palestinian resistance fighters kidnapped and killed 3 settlers in the southern West Bank.

Hamas also asked Egypt to present its final position on the entire deal proposal after studying it in its leadership bodies, and the official Israeli response to it.

Some of the wives of the editors of the Shalit deal in a previous sit-in in Ramallah to demand their release (Al-Jazeera)

grand stage

In the second stage - according to the source also - Hamas will release the soldiers Godlin and Aron in exchange for the liberation of about 800 Palestinian prisoners, among whom are prominent leaders in the Palestinian factions.

According to the source, Hamas insists that this stage include the prominent leader of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah) Marwan Barghouti, who has been detained since 2003. While it is ready to respond to an Israeli "veto" on a number of prisoners' names, to push for the success of the Egyptian efforts.

The source does not rule out that this stage will establish a long-term truce agreement in Gaza that guarantees the improvement of humanitarian and living conditions, after bitter years of siege, which extended since 2007 and was interspersed with 4 wars.

A Palestinian prisoner released in the Shalit deal is carried on his brother's shoulders when he is received at the Rafah Crossing (Al-Jazeera)

interest of all parties

The writer who specializes in Palestinian factions' affairs, Thabet Al-Amour, believes that the time has become fully ripe to complete the exchange deal, which he considered "in the interest of all parties."

Al-Amour said - to Al-Jazeera Net - that what the relationship between Hamas and the resistance is witnessing on the one hand, and the occupying state on the other - after the last war (last May) - is tantamount to "exchanging hot messages", while it is not in anyone's interest to return again to a confrontation Large armed at the moment.

Al-Amour added that the developments in the political scene in Israel after the fall of Netanyahu and the formation of a “fragile” government seeks to prove itself, in return for Hamas realizing the heavy responsibilities entrusted to it in light of the deteriorating conditions in Gaza.

"All of these factors indicate that the solution lies in achieving approaches and reaching agreements, and not in rushing towards a new war."

About 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, including about 300 children and 40 female prisoners, are living in tragic conditions, according to official and civil Palestinian institutions.