Yemen’s Iranian-supported Houthi group proposed to release Saudi soldiers detained by the group in exchange for the release of Hamas members held by the Kingdom.
Speaking to the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency on Monday, the Houthi leader Abdulmalik Al Houthi said, “We renew our offer to the Saudi regime to swap its officers held captive for Palestinian abductees.”
However, the Houthi official did not reveal further details about the number of Saudi soldiers kept captive by the group.
Touching upon the Saudi and Emirati approach to Hamas as well, Al Houthi stated that “Hamas’ opposition to the Israeli enemy is the main problem of the Saudi and UAE regimes in their stance against Hamas.”
Saudi Arabia has not reportedly responded to the offer so far.
Last week, former Hamas official Muhammad Al Khoudari received 15 years imprisonment by a Saudi court on charges of “supporting the resistance.” Al Khoudari was among 69 Jordanians and Palestinians, some of whom were sentenced to up to 22 years in prison, while others were acquitted, by a Saudi court.
Following the decision, Hamas issued a statement, criticizing the Saudi court’s decision, calling it as “unjust.”
“We were shocked… by the rulings issued by the Saudi judiciary against a large number of Palestinians and Jordanians residing in the Kingdom. We deplore the harsh and undeserved sentences against most of them. All they did was support their cause and their people, to which they belong, without any offense to the Kingdom and its people,” said Hamas in a statement.
On the other hand, the Houthi group announced that they see no reason to negotiate with the new UN envoy for Yemen before their demands are met. Shared a message in his Twitter account upon Grundberg’s appointment, Houthi spokesperson Mohammad Abdulsalam wrote, “There is no use in having any dialogue before airport and ports are opened as a humanitarian necessity and priority.”