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Hope expressed for release of Israeli soldier

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Hope expressed for release of Israeli soldier


Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh says he hopes the release of BBC reporter Alan Johnston may lead to a deal for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Shalit was seized in June last year by militants from Hamas and other groups who are demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Mark Regev, said: “Israelis hoped for his (Johnston’s) safe release, just as we hope for the safe release of our own serviceman, Gilad Shalit, who’s been held by Hamas for more than a year as a hostage.” Hamas says it hopes the case of Shalit will end with what it calls an “honourable” deal that would secure the release of its prisoners in Israeli jails. It says the ball is now in Israel’s court, but so far Israel has said it will not release the prisoners.

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