Het was te verwachten: Hamas kraait victorie, en belooft alvast meer ontvoeringen.
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'1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Schalit'
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH AND REUTERS
Mashaal calls deal a "national achievement"; Izaddin al-Kassam spokesman claims Israel has accepted all the demands of the captors.
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal hailed a deal with Israel to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit a "national achievement" for Palestinians.
Meshaal said in a televised statement that 450 prisoners would be released within a week, with the rest being freed in two months. The detainees being freed included all 27 Palestinian women prisoners held by Israel, he said.
The Izaddin al-Kassam brigades presented the prisoner-exchange agreement with Israel for kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit as a "historic victory," claiming that Israel has accepted all the demands of the captors.
Abu Obaida, spokesman for the armed wing of Hamas, Izaddin al-Kassam, said that the agreement includes prisoners from east Jerusalem, Israeli Arabs and all females and minors. He also pointed out that two-thirds of the prisoners who would be released in return for Gilad Schalit are serving lengthy terms in prison.
"This is an historic deal," he boasted.
"Hamas will remain faithful to the cause of the prisoners and will continue to work toward securing the release of all of them."
Hamas officials revealed that the agreement was achieved with the help of the Egyptians. They said that the head ofEgypt's General Intelligence Service, Murad Mawafi, was personally involved in the negotiations that led to the agreement.
According to the officials, Ahmed Ja'bari, the overall commander of the armed wing of Hamas, visited Cairo two weeks ago to lay the final touches on the deal.