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Hamas demands simultaneous prisoner swap with Israel (Reuters)

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Eugene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:11 PM
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Hamas demands simultaneous prisoner swap with Israel (Reuters)
Hamas demands simultaneous prisoner swap with Israel
Fri Dec 15, 2006 9:34am ET

GAZA (Reuters) - The ruling Hamas movement said on Friday an Israeli soldier captured
by Palestinian gunmen in June would not be freed unless the Jewish state simultaneously
released long-serving Palestinian prisoners and faction leaders.

While Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said late last month he would be willing to free
many Palestinian prisoners, including those who had served lengthy terms, he indicated
Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit had to be released first.

Senior Hamas leader Khalil Al-Hayya told a large Hamas rally in Gaza: "The Israeli soldier
Gilad Shalit will never be freed unless our hero prisoners, the long-serving and the faction
leaders are freed in a reciprocal and simultaneous manner."

Shalit was captured by a group of Palestinian militants, including members of Hamas,
during a June 25 cross-border raid. It triggered a crushing five-month long Israeli military
offensive into the coastal strip.


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