Hamas rejects Israel's truce conditions
Islamist group, Popular Resistance Committees say they won't accept cabinet's decision to link Gilad Shalit's release to future ceasefire, opening of Gaza crossings. Price for captive soldier's return non-negotiable, they say, accusing Israel of 'torpedoing lull'
Hamas announced Wednesday is was "rejecting" Israel's official stand on the ceasefire agreement, which preconditions any long-term truce, as well as the opening of the Gaza crossings, with the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
The organization stressed that its prerequisite to Shalit's release was the parallel release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.
Hamas leaders in Damascus chided Israel for essentially scorning Egypt's meditation efforts, and said that the conditions for the captive soldier's release were non-negotiable.
Abu Mujahed, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), said that "Gilad Shalit will be released only if the price the Palestinian groups are demanding is met," adding that none of the groups agreed to change any of their demands for a possible exchange deal.
Israel's attempt to link Shalit's release to the lull agreement, he added, was an attempt to "torpedo the ceasefire."
Earlier Wednesday, the National Security Cabinet announced that Shalit's release was a stipulation for both the armistice and the opening of the Gaza goods crossings. The ministers vote on the motion was unanimous.
Roni Sofer, Ali Waked and AFP contributed to this report