Ali Baraka, a senior Hamas official, told Russia Today in a Sunday interview that Hamas demands that the United States engage in prisoner swaps and cited President Joe Biden’s recent Iran hostage deal as a rationale for taking of American captives.
Baraka noted in a translated excerpt of the interview provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) that there are multiple Hamas members serving life sentences in U.S. prisons. “We demand that the U.S. free our sons from prisons,” Baraka said. (RELATED: Watch As Hamas Spokesman Walks Off Interview With Chris Cuomo)
Senior Hamas Official Ali Baraka: We Have Been Secretly Planning the Invasion for Two Years; Russia Sympathizes with Us, Benefits from U.S. Embroilment in This War; Any Swap Deal Should Include Hamas Prisoners in Europe and the U.S. #Hamas #Russia #Israel_under_attack pic.twitter.com/JNGQotkKg5
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) October 11, 2023
Baraka said that there was plenty of precedent to suggest that the United States would comply with Hamas’ demands. “The U.S. conducts prisoner swaps. Only recently, it did one with Iran. Why wouldn’t it conduct a prisoner swap with us?” Baraka asked.
The Biden administration’s Sept. 11, 2023 deal with Iran involved the United States transferring $6 billion to the Islamic Republic in exchange for the release of five American prisoners.
“Biden, the highest authority in the U.S., declared that he stands with Israel against Hamas and the Palestinian people. Therefore, he is a partner to this aggression, he must pay the price,” Baraka said in the interview.