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Hamas: Israel's evasion would keep Shalit captive forever
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09:25, December 15, 2008

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The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) said Sunday that the Israeli policy of evasion and dodge towards ending the file of the captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit would keep him in captivity forever.

Speaking in condition of anonymity, a senior Hamas source told the independent Palestinian news agency Quds Press that Hamas is still clinging to its demands to finalize the prisoners' swap with Israel.

Hamas armed wing al-Qassam Brigades and two other militant groups abducted Shalit in an armed attacks near the border between southeast Gaza Strip and Israel in June 2006.

Egypt has been mediating a prisoners' swap between Israel and Hamas, but so far no tangible progress has been achieved, according to Hamas official source. Talks between the two sides might be renewed soon.

Hamas had asked to release 450 prisoners once Shalit is handed to Egypt, then while Shalit is in Egypt Israel frees 500 prisoners, including women, children, aged and sick prisoners.

Hamas also wanted to free 500 prisoners when Shalit is back home, including some 40 ministers and members of parliament, imprisoned by Israel in the West Bank.

"Not accepting our conditions and adopting a policy of evasion, would make Shalit spent the rest of his life in captivity," said Hamas official, adding "he would be only freed if our prisoners are freed."

Meanwhile, the source ruled out that the Palestinian factions, including Hamas would accept a renewal of the truce with Israel.

Source: Xinhua

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