Hamas accuses Israel of resorting to media war for release of captured soldier

GAZA, Islamic Hamas movement on Tuesday accused Israel of resorting to media war after exhausting all means of pressure to force the captors in Gaza to soften their demands to free an Israeli soldier. The Israeli officials “exchange their roles on the media, and sometimes on the ground, to put pressure on Hamas and the captors to respond to Israel’s conditions and criteria (over the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit),” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoom.

Hamas and two aligned groups captured Shalit from his base near Gaza in 2006, demanding Israel to release more than 1,000 Palestinians in exchange for the soldier.

Barhoom said that Israeli media war targets the families of the Palestinian prisoners “who ask Hamas to stick to its demands to free as many prisoners as possible.”

Egypt had been mediating a prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, but differences between the two sides increased after Hamas took over Gaza last year. Israeli rejection of Hamas demands halted the mediation.

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