'Hamas refuses to abandon policy of IDF kidnappings'

Palestinian sources tell 'Al Hayat' Israel asked Hamas to reject policy of kidnapping as part of Schalit deal.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 14, 2011 12:35
1 minute read.
Hamas soldier

Hamas soldier 311 R. (photo credit: Israel Picture Service/REUTERS)

Hamas did not agree to an Israeli request to abandon a policy of future IDF kidnappings as part of the prisoner-swap agreement with Israel, a Palestinian source told the London-based Al Hayat on Friday.

According to the source, Israel - which will release more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for kidnapped tank gunner Gilad Schalit - agreed not to target any of the prisoners once they have been freed.

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The source said that Hamas has also expected the naval blockade of Gaza to lighten following the conclusion of the exchange, Al Hayat reported.

The Jerusalem Post could not confirm this report.

A Hamas official in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan, told Al Hayat that Israel was obligated to refrain from targeting any of the Palestinian prisoners as a part of the agreement.

Under the deal, Israel will immediately release 450 male prisoners on a list of names drawn up with Hamas, and another 27 female prisoners, and then get Schalit in return. Israel will then free another 550 prisoners of its own choosing in two months.

This was not the first time since the signing of the prisoner-swap deal that Hamas said they would not reject a policy of IDF kidnappings.

On Wednesday, Abu Obaida, spokesman for the armed wing of Hamas, Izzadin Kassam said that Schalit, who is set to be released as part of a prisoner exchange deal, "will not be the last solider kidnapped by Hamas as long as Israel keeps Palestinian prisoners detained."


Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

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