(photo credit: AP [file])
Top Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahar, denied Saturday that his organization was planning a large attack against Israel in order to sabotage the upcoming Annapolis summit.
According to Zahar, "Actually, those interested in such a thing are the Israeli Labor and Likud Parties, who are searching for a way to hamper Olmert and are also looking for a reason to attack Hamas."
Regarding kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, Zahar said that negotiations for a prisoner exchange were at a deadlock, and that Hamas had no intention of compromising its demands that Israel release prisoners whose names were given to Israel by Egyptian mediators.
Zahar said that he rejected a request by the Red Cross to receive more information about Schalit's condition.
He reiterated a threat made recently by Hamas that the captured soldier may be harmed if more Palestinian prisoners are hurt in Israeli jails, referring to a prison riot at Ketziot prison earlier in the week in which several Palestinian inmates were wounded.
According to Army Radio, Zahar made the comments during an interview with the Arab-language newspaper, Al-Hadat, which is published in the Galilee city of Tamra.
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