Shalit in videotape released by Hamas
Photo: Reuters

Hamas: No compromise on prisoner swap deal terms

After release of Shalit videotape, Palestinian organizations say standing firm in their demand that Israel release 450 'heavy' prisoners in exchange for captive IDF soldier

After releasing a videotape proving that captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was alive and well, Hamas said on Friday that it would not ease its conditions for a prisoner exchange deal with Israel.


Osama al-Muzaini, a senior Hamas figure who is familiar with the negotiations, said that while the transfer of the Shalit tape in exchange for the release of 19 female Palestinian security prisoners was a step in the right direction, "The Palestinian organizations have not budged from their demands regarding the identity and amount of the Palestinian prisoners (they want released as part of a deal with Israel)."


Al-Muzaini spoke at a welcoming ceremony for one of the female prisoners released by Israel on Friday.


A spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, Abu Mujahid, also said that any deal would require Israel to release 450 "heavy" prisoners, most of whom were involved in major attacks that took the lives of Israeli soldiers and civilians.


Hamas said that one of the disputes holding up the deal revolves around Israel's insistence that several dozen of the released prisoners be exiled abroad and that others be released to Gaza rather than the West Bank.


Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal threatened on Friday to capture more Israeli soldiers in order to win the release of Palestinian prisoners.


He said those who were able to capture Shalit and hold him safely for more than three years are capable of capturing "Shalit, and Shalit, and Shalit until there is not even one prisoner in the enemy's jails."


Shalit was kidnapped by Palestinian gunmen during a cross-border raid on an IDF base near Gaza on June 25, 2006.


פרסום ראשון: 10.03.09, 11:57
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