Khaled Mashaal, Hamas leader in Damascus threatened further kidnappings of Israeli Defense Forces soldiers if Israel refuses to free all Palestinian prisoners.
In an interview with Hamas radio station Voice of al-Aksa, Mashaal said the kidnappers would stick to their demands until Israel “emptied them of their substance.”
The Hamas leader-in-exile also called for a Palestinian Authority unity government on the basis of the prisoners’ document without adhering to international demands.
Hamas is demanding from PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to present concrete international guarantees following the establishment of a unity government; the siege imposed on the PA would be lifted.
Abbas told London-based newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat that Israel was prepared to release “many Palestinian prisoners” in exchange for the kidnapped soldier [Corporal Gilad Shalit].
Also, the London-based Arab newspaper Al-Hayat reported that a prerequisite for a Palestinian unity government was resolving the economic crisis in the Palestinian territories and the issue of Shalit.