Hamas rejects Israeli demand regarding calm as Palestinian killed
Hamas movement on Tuesday said the release of an Israeli soldier captured in 2006 would not be part of a proposed Gaza Strip calm, despite Israeli demands for progress on the issue. "Whoever thinks that the (Israeli soldier Gilad ) Shalit issue will be settled for free as part of the period of calm is completely wrong," senior Hamas leader Mahmud Zahar said in a speech in Gaza City.
"The issue of a prisoner exchange is completely separate from the period of calm," he added, speaking at an event to mark the Naqba, the Arabic word for catastrophe used to describe the establishment of Israel in 1948.
"If there were another way to free these prisoners we would welcome it," Zahar said, referring to the Palestinians held in Israeli jails.
Meanwhile, Palestinian medical sources said Tuesday that one Palestinian was killed in an Israeli airstrike on a Palestinian mortar-launching squad in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli side has confirmed the attack. On Monday afternoon, a 70-year-old Israeli woman was killed after she was hit by a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip. The attack was claimed by the Islamic Jihad movement.