Hamas chief hopes for release of Israeli soldier

The ousted Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya said on Wednesday he hoped a deal would be reached that would allow the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held in Gaza since June last year.

Hamas chief hopes for release of Israeli soldier
The ousted Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya said on Wednesday he hoped a deal would be reached that would allow the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held in Gaza since June last year.

“We hope the kidnapping of Shalit to end with a good deal to assure to the release of our prisoners,” Haniya said at a news conference following the release of BBC journalist Alan Johnston.

Israel has repeatedly said it will not negotiate with Hamas for the release of Shalit, who was captured on June 25, 2006 from an army base in Israel, near the Gaza Strip.

Negotiations for the 20-year-old soldier’s release, mediated by Egypt, have repeatedly broken down and been complicated since Hamas took control of Gaza last month.

Egypt passed to Israel in April a list of prisoners Hamas wants released, according to Hamas officials.

Last week, Hamas released an audio recording of Shalit calling on the Israeli government to do more for his liberation, claiming that his health had deteriorated and that he needed immediate hospitalisation.

Soon after the recording’s release, the Israeli government repeated its position that it would not negotiate with Hamas for the soldier’s release.
Last Mod: 04 Temmuz 2007, 11:11
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