Netanyahu rules out ceasefire with Hamas, saying ‘this is a time for war’

                               Netanyahu rules out ceasefire with Hamas, saying ‘this is a time for war’

Can Israel swap Palestinian prisoners for hostages?

It's been suggested that Hamas wants to swap some of the Israeli hostages that it holds for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

But who are those prisoners and what is feasible?

The relevant Palestinians detained in Israel are known as security inmates. As of the beginning of October, 5,192 were behind bars. These consisted of 2,410 sentenced prisoners1,463 on remand and 1,319 administrative detainees held without trial. That data from the Israel Prison Service is compiled by the Israeli NGO, HaMoked.

But many more Palestinians have been rounded up by Israeli forces since 7 October. The Palestinian Prisoners Club says that some 1,680 people have been arrested from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as some 4,000 workers from the Gaza Strip who had permits to be in Israel. That brings the total held close to 11,000.

On Monday, the Israeli military said 700 members of Hamas had been arrested in the West Bank since the start of the war.

In the past, Israel has agreed to a number of prisoner exchange deals with Palestinian armed factions and the Lebanese group Hezbollah.

Most notably, it released a total of 1,027 prisoners, who were mostly Palestinian, in exchange for Gilad Shalit - an Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas in Gaza from 2006 to 2011.

 Benjamin Netanyahu was prime minister at the time of that deal.

The exchange was highly controversial as those who were released were collectively responsible for the deaths of some 600 Israelis.

Many of the prisoners released 12 years ago were later detained again by Israeli forces. And those who remain active members of armed groups include Yahya Sinwar, the current leader of Hamas in Gaza.

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