Haniyeh urges Palestinians to back Schalit swap deal

By JPOST.COM STAFF
April 16, 2011 23:00

Speaking in Gaza, Hamas PM says group will not disappoint prisoners' families, says exchange deal would be victory for Palestinians.

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The Jerusalem Post

ismail haniyeh 311. (photo credit:Bloomberg)

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Saturday encouraged Palestinians to support an agreement to release Palestinian prisoners in Israel in exchange for the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, Ma'an News Agency reported.

Speaking at a session of the Hamas parliamentary bloc in commemoration of "Prisoner's Day," Haniyeh stated that the resistance would not disappoint Palestinians and the prisoners' families.

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He added that the Hamas government supported the demands of Schalit's captors, which, if met, would be a new victory for Palestinians, Ma'an reported.

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Hamas sources on Wednesday said they are "positively considering releasing a new tape of Gilad Schalit, but Israel will have to pay a price for it," reported Army Radio.

The statements were published Tuesday in the organization's official newspaper, al-Resalah.

"Will Schalit appear once again on the screen?" the article asked, and said that the release of "a video along with a photo of Gilad would put pressure on Netanyahu to start moving forward in making an exchange deal with Hamas for the release of Palestinian prisoners," Army Radio reported.

Last week, the Prime Minister's Office responded to calls from former heads of intelligence agencies which had earlier called for the immediate release of Schalit and said that "efforts to bring home Gilad Schalit safe and sound continue at all times."

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