GAZA - Islamic leaders in the Gaza Strip called on Friday for militants to kidnap Israelis and use them as bargaining chips to secure the freedom of thousands of Palestinians prisoners held in Israeli jails.
Human rights groups say up to 2,000 prisoners have joined an open-ended hunger strike to protest against jail conditions and thousands of Palestinians staged a rally in the Gaza Strip to support their cause.
"We should work hard to get (Israeli) prisoners in our hands in order to secure the freedom of our prisoners," Khaled Al-Batsh, a senior member of the Islamic Jihad, told the crowd.
"I say to all armed factions, the way to free the prisoners is through swaps ... An arrest for an arrest, and freedom for freedom. This is the way," he said.
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