Palestinian Authority Prime Minster Ismail Haniyeh reiterated on Thursday that Hamas would not recognize Israel and would not abandon its armed struggle.
Haniyeh told followers at a meal to break the fast of Ramadan that the international community would increase the pressure it was exerting on Hamas "in order to try and force it to sacrifice its principles."
Israel Radio reported that Haniyeh stressed that "a civil war is not in the vocabulary of the Palestinian people."
Regarding kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, Haniyeh said, "Olmert is the one delaying your boy's release, "adding, "Hamas and the organizations that carried out the kidnapping are prepared to release him as part of a prisoner exchange deal."
"We will not release him in exchange for promisesâ€¦only as part of a deal," exclaimed the PA prime minister.