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Report: Hamas mulls sending Shalit tape
By Roni Shaked
Ynet / Israel News
13 Apr 2011,7340,L-4056206,00.html

Hamas is considering handing over another videotape of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, the organization`s official journal reported.

Al-Risala cited sources from Hamas, who say the request for an additional tape ahead of the Passover holiday came from representatives of the International Red Cross.

`Will Shalit once again go up on video screens?` the journal asked in its headline. One source was quoted as saying that Hamas `is positively considering sending a new tape of Shalit, similarly to the previous time, but for this Israel must pay a price.`

For the previous tape sent by Shalit`s abductors, in October of 2009, Israel released 19 Palestinian prisoners held in its jails.

`A tape with images of Gilad Shalit will constitute pressure on Israeli society and Netanyahu to start promoting an exchange deal with Hamas,` a senior Hamas source was quoted as saying.

The report added that the request was being weighed by the organization`s politburo chief, Khaled Mashaal, who has previously rejected such proposals out-of-hand.

`We refuse to cede any demand we have made for the release of the soldier Shalit, and the responsibility for the failed deal rests solely with Israel,` another source was quoted as saying.

On Monday six former senior officials with the defense establishment held a press conference calling for the immediate release of the kidnapped soldier, who has been in captivity for nearly five years.

`We must make a difficult and brave decision and not compromise,` former Shin Bet chief Yaakov Peri told the press.

`The State of Israel has the power, and the government has a sacred duty to return a living captive soldier to his family. We can withstand this the same way we have withstood it in the past, when we paid a heavy price for much less.`

The Red Cross had no comment on the report, saying that the organization was in touch with Shalit`s parents and would not reveal any progress being made in the case.


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