The IDF incursion into Gaza could jeopardize the life of an IDF soldier held by Palestinians, a senior Hamas official said Wednesday.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, the deputy of Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal, spoke hours after IAF jets blasted a Gaza power station, knocking out electricity in most of the territory, and IDF tanks and thousands of troops took up positions near the town of Rafah.
Israel said the incursion, its first in Gaza since the IDF withdrew from the coastal strip in September, was designed to force the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, whom Hamas-linked operatives kidnapped Sunday in a raid on an Israeli military camp near the Gaza border.
"Gaza is a small area," Abu Marzouk told The Associated Press in an interview. "Cleansing the area (by the IDF) would certainly affect the life of the prisoner soldier. He is among the resistance people."
Abu Marzouk said he believed the militants want to keep the soldier alive to trade him for Palestinians detained by Israel.
"For sure, he's in hands that will protect him and treat him well. Our morals and our religion dictate that we do this to every prisoner," Abu Marzouk said.