Hamas: Israel's refusal to release senior Hamas leader delays prisoner swap

09:30, October 05, 2009      

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Islamic Hamas movement Sunday said Israel's refusal to release a senior Hamas commander was the reason that hinders a prisoner exchange deal.

Since the beginning of indirect talks to swap an Israeli soldier for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, Israel rejectedtalking about the release of Ibraheem Hamed, the jailed leader of al-Qassam brigades, Hamas' armed wing in the West Bank, according to the website of al-Qassam.

On Friday, Israel freed 19 Palestinian female prisoners in exchange for a videotape of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured by Hamas in a cross-border raid near Gaza in 2006, who is now jailed in the Gaza Strip.

"Israel suspends the prisoner swap under the pretext that some prisoners whom Hamas asks for release are very dangerous, especially several al-Qassam's leaders, mainly Ibraheem Hamed," according to the report.

Arrested in May 2006 in Ramallah, Hamed "has the direct responsibility for planning and preparing tens of attacks in the heart of the occupying entity (Israel), which led to the death and injury of 78 Israelis," according to the report.

Hamed is among the 450 controversial prisoners Hamas demanded for release under the prisoner exchange deal.

Source: Xinhua
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