GAZA CITY ø Hamas said it plans to invest a greater effort into
abducting Israeli soldiers.
Hamas leaders said Hizbullah demonstrated the effectiveness of
abducting Israeli soldiers. Hizbullah won the release of 400 Palestinian
prisoners in exchange for an Israeli civilian and the bodies of three
Israeli soldiers killed along the Israeli-Lebanese border in 2000.
The Islamic movement, seeking to build on the example set by Hizbullah,
said the capture of Israeli soldiers would be used to win the release of its
members and other Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. So far, the movement
said, its efforts to kidnap Israeli soldiers have failed.
"The factions will spare no effort to kidnap Israeli soldiers and they
tried many times," Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin said on Friday, Middle East Newsline reported. "But the
Israeli soldier today is careful as a bird is about its chick."
"There is no solution to the prisoner issue other than the abduction of
enemy soldiers and exchanging them for our own prisoners," Yassin said.
Israel is said to be holding 7,000 Palestinian prisoners. Many of them
captured during the last three years of the Israeli-Palestinian war.
Over the weekend, Hamas gunners fired a Kassam-2 short-range missile
toward Israel. Nobody was injured in the attack.
Hamas also took responsibility for the suicide bombing on an Israeli
passenger bus in Jerusalem on Thursday in which 11 people were killed.
Israeli military sources said the intelligence community has received dozens
of alerts of a Palestinian attack.