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A Hamas spokesman on Monday denied that Israel knows where in the Gaza Strip captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit is being held, according to a report cited by Israel Radio.
East Jerusalem newspaper al-Quds quoted Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan as saying that the deal to free Schalit was not related to upcoming Palestinian elections, set for early 2010.
"The negotiations to free Schalit will continue until Israel answers our demands, whether it's before the elections, or after," he stressed.
Radwan was apparently responding to a report in London-based newspaper Asharq Alawsat published Sunday, in which a senior Jerusalem official claimed that Israel knows the kidnapped soldier's whereabouts.
The official said that the government knew where Schalit was initially taken immediately after his kidnapping, that it had consistently known where he was being held and that Hamas was aware of this.
The source told Asharq Alawsat that Schalit's captors planned to kill him if Israel tried to free him by force.
The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the report.