By JERUSALEM POST STAFFPublished: OCTOBER 4, 2009 00:19Advertisement
Hours after Israel released 19 female Palestinian prisoners - an additional prisoner will be released Sunday - in exchange for a video proving captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit was alive, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on Friday night threatened to capture more Israeli soldiers in order to win the release of all Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons.
In a speech in Damascus, Mashaal congratulated the Palestinian people on the release of the prisoners and promised to work for the release of thousands of Palestinians held by Israel.
Those who were able to capture Schalit and hold him safely for more than three years are capable of capturing "Schalit and Schalit and Schalit until there is not even one prisoner in the enemy's jails," Mashaal said.
The Damascus-based leader's comments were followed by remarks from Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri, who on Friday night said that the prisoner release proved that Israel had no choice but to give in to the group's demands.
"The Zionist enemy has no choice but to accept Hamas's demands," Masri reportedly said.
According to Channel 10, Masri told the Hamas television network that "the fact that 20 female prisoners were released today helps Hamas, and the passing time does not help the Zionist enemy, but rather strengthens our position."
The Hamas spokesman said that even though it could take a long time, the negotiations with Israel would lead to a prisoner exchange deal.
"The negotiations over the deal are being held slowly and will continue for a long time, but we are sure they will be successful," he was quoted as saying.
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