Hamas vows to kidnap more Israeli soldiers for swap deal

Hamas vows to kidnap more Israeli soldiers for swap deal

Hamas vows to kidnap more Israeli soldiers for swap deal

Gilad Schalit (C) salutes in front of Israeli PM Netanyahu (L) in this file photo. AFP photo

The leader of Hamas has vowed to kidnap more Israeli soldiers to pressure Israel to release Palestinian prisoners.

The comments from Khaled Mashaal come after the deal Hamas struck last year with Israel to swap an Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit, held by Hamas for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, including many jailed for helping carry out bombings. Mashaal told a conference in the Qatari capital of Doha late April 6 that kidnapping Israeli soldiers was the only way to secure the release of some of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Mashaal has made similar statements before. Meanwhile, Hamas rulers on April 7 executed a Palestinian convicted of collaborating with Israel and two others deemed complicit in murder, an interior ministry statement said. It said the three men were hanged in a “security center” in Gaza City. It was the first time this year that the group had carried out an execution of someone accused of “collaborating” with the Israelis. The ministry statement did not give the men’s names, ages or any other information.

The last time the death sentence for aiding Israel was carried out was in July 2011, when two Palestinians were executed on the charge. Israeli security forces routinely use Palestinian informers to thwart militant attacks and assist in the assassination of top militants. Under Palestinian law, collaboration with Israel, murder and drug trafficking are all punishable by death.

Compiled from AP and AFP stories by the Daily News staff.