Wonderland Wire

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Israel Arrests Ten Hamas Leaders

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20 Mar 09 | NY Times

Israel arrested 10 Hamas leaders in the West Bank late Wednesday and early Thursday, including four legislators, in what Hamas said was an attempt to put pressure on the organization after the collapse of negotiations for the release of a captive Israeli soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

The Israeli military described the men who were detained as “leaders of the ongoing efforts to restore the administrative branch of the Hamas terror organization in the region.” A spokesman would not comment on any possible link to the Shalit affair.

Israel’s departing prime minister, Ehud Olmert, had hoped to secure Corporal Shalit’s release before leaving office. Mr. Olmert is to be succeeded by Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the conservative Likud Party, who has until early April to form a new governing coalition.

In return for Corporal Shalit, who was seized by Hamas and other Palestinian militants in a cross-border raid and taken into Gaza in 2006, Hamas demands the release of 450 Palestinians in Israeli jails, including many convicted of deadly attacks on Israelis. But intensive talks held through Egyptian mediators ended this week without an agreement, and Mr. Olmert said Tuesday that his government would not accede to all of Hamas’s demands. >>>

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Written by Editors

20 March 2009 at 12:00 am

Posted in Palestine-Israel

Tagged with , , , ,

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