'Al-Hayat': Hamas rejects Israeli offer to free 450 prisoners for Schalit

Hamas has rejected an offer by Israel for the release of 450 Palestinian prisoners in return for the release of captive soldier Gilad Schalit, London-based newspaper Al-Hayat reported Sunday. According to the report, Hamas demands the release of prisoners such as senior Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti and Ahmed Saadat as part of the deal. Barghouti was convicted of murder and sentenced to five life sentences in prison for killing Jews and a Christian monk during the second Intifada. Sadat, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is suspected of involvement in the murder of tourism minister Rehavam Ze'evi in 2001. A Hamas official told the paper that the group had patience. "Schalit has begun his third year in prison, and could also begin a fourth," he said.