Hamas on Saturday threatened to execute abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit if the Israeli military continues to attack and arrest its leadership.
Five Hamas men were killed earlier in the day during Israeli air strikes on terrorist installations in Gaza City. The attacks came as part of Israel's ongoing response to Palestinian rocket fire on southern Israel.
In an interview with a Hamas website, a spokesman for the group vowed that "if any Hamas leaders are harmed, Israel can forget about Gilad Shalit."
Israeli government officials have stated that even senior Hamas political leaders are no longer immune to elimination due to the unprovoked an escalating rocket fire on the towns bordering Gaza.
Gilad Shalit was nabbed outside Gaza by Hamas-affiliated terrorists on June 25, 2006.