Hamas leader to pass letter to captured Israeli soldier

DAMASCUS, Syria – A Hamas official has confirmed that the Damascus-based leader of the militant Palestinian group has promised to deliver to captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit a letter from his father.

Hamas’ political bureau member Mohammed Nasr told The Associated Press Saturday that the emir of Qatar gave the letter to Khaled Mashaal during a visit to Syria this week.

The emir was in Syria to take part in a four-way summit with the leaders of Syria, France and Turkey.

On Thursday, officials in French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said the letter from Schalit’s father, Noam, is to be handed over to the emir of Qatar, who is to pass it to Mashaal.

Schalit has been held by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip for two years.

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