Hamas official urges Palestinians to kidnap Israelis

Hamas official urges Palestinians to kidnap Israelis

PanARMENIAN.Net - A senior Hamas official called on Palestinian militants on Tuesday, Aril 17 to kidnap Israeli soldiers in order to exchange them for Palestinians captured by Israel, RIA Novosti reported.

Izzat al-Rishq’s statement posted on his Facebook page repeated yesterday’s call by Hamas' prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniya. It came as Palestinians mark the Prisoners' Day in solidarity with Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

Al-Rishq said in his post releasing Palestinians captured by Israel was as important for Hamas as the liberation of the occupied Palestinian territories.

Over 7,000 Palestinians are believed to have been held in Israeli jails over armed attacks on Israeli troops and civilians. Most of them are members of Hamas and its rival faction Fatah ruling the West Bank.

Earlier on Tuesday, more than 1,600 jailed Palestinians declared an open-ended hunger strike in protest against their arrest and conditions in which they are being held, local media reported. Another 2,300 prisoners said they would not eat for one day.

Last October, Hamas released its most high-profile Israeli prisoner, soldier Gilad Shalit, who was abducted by Palestinian militants in 2006, in exchange for over 1,000 Palestinians captured by Israel.

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