Hamas leader firm on prisoner swap

"Only grounds for dealing with the two Israeli detainees is an exchange."

shalit, gilad, 298 ap (photo credit: AP)
shalit, gilad, 298 ap
(photo credit: AP)
The IDF soldiers held by Hamas and Hizbullah will only be released as part of a prisoner swap, a top Hamas official in Syria said Tuesday. Cpl. Gilad Shalit, 19, of Mitzpe Hila, was captured on June 25 in an attack on IDF troops near the Kerem Shalom crossing at the Gaza border. The attack was coordinated by at least three different Palestinian terror organizations. Reservists Ehud Goldwasser, 31, from Nahariya and Eldad Regev, 26, from Kirtyat Motzkin, were kidnapped on July 12 when Hizbullah operatives ambushed an IDF patrol along Israel's northern border, an act that sparked the current violent conflict between the IDF and Hizbullah. Mohammad Nazal, member of Hamas' political bureau in Damascus, also raised the possibility of teaming up with the Shi'ite terrorist group Hizbullah to negotiate terms that would lead to the release of Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners in Israel in exchange for the three soldiers - two held by Hezbollah and one by Hamas. "The only grounds for dealing with the two Israeli detainees held by the Lebanese Hizbullah party and the Israeli solider captured by the Palestinian militants, is an exchange of prisoners," Nazal said in a telephone call. "There will be no talk about any other deal."