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Saturday, January 31, 2004

HAMAS threatens to kidnap Israeli soldiers

Washington Post / AP: GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - The leader of Hamas said Friday that his group is making every effort to seize Israeli soldiers as bargaining chips for the release of Palestinians in Israeli jails.

The declaration by Sheik Ahmed Yassin came a day after a prisoner swap between Israel and the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah. Israel released more than 400 prisoners, the vast majority Palestinians, in exchange for an Israeli businessman and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers.

The swap boosted the standing of Hezbollah in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and appeared to put Hamas on the defensive.

Hezbollah threatens to kidnap Israeli soldiers

Washington Post / AP: BEIRUT, Lebanon - Once again Hezbollah has forced Israel's hand - at least that's how many in the Middle East view the release of more than 400 prisoners in an exchange with the Jewish state. In the German-brokered deal with Hezbollah, Israel freed the prisoners Thursday in exchange for the bodies of three of its soldiers and the release of a kidnapped Israeli businessman...

After the release, Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, warned that the group would kidnap more Israelis to use as bargaining chips if necessary to secure the release of more prisoners.