Palestinian Prime Minister of Hamas says no concession regarding Shalit case

August 11, 2008 12:47 AM IMEMC & Agencies Gaza Strip, News Report, Truce 0

Palestinian Prime Minister of Hamas, Ismail Haniya, stated on Sunday that his ruling party won’t give any concessions regarding a potential prisoner swap deal with Israel, in which captured Israeli soldier Gil’ad Shalit be exchanged for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

In a televised interview with Ramattan News Agency in Gaza, Haniya was quoted as saying ‘ we don’t want to talk much for media, but I can assert to you that we won’t concede regarding our demands for a swap deal’.

The prime minister reiterated his government’s determination to work on having all Palestinian prisoners released ‘ we won’t yield any effort to break the cuffs of our prisoners’.

In June19, Cairo brokered a ceasefire deal between Hamas in Gaza and Israel. The deal stipulates maintaining progress on the Shalit case, concurrently with lifting the Israeli blockade on Gaza and stopping homemade shells fire onto Israel.

Hamas insists that Shalit should swapped for 450 Palestinian prisoners , many of whom are sentenced to long-term imprisonment, but Israel refuses. Israel holds 11,500 Palestinian prisoners in its jails, according to Palestinian sources.

In June2006, the ruling Hamas party along with two other Gaza-based factions, captured Shalit in a cross-border resistance attack in southern Gaza.

Israel responded with lethal force then, killing about 500 men, women and children and destroying many infrastructure facilities like bridges and electricity networks.

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