Sheikh Yassin: Hamas holds remains of Israeli soldier killed in Gaza Strip
Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin has confirmed that his movement is holding the remains of an Israeli soldier killed during an Israeli operation in the central Gaza Strip in July.
In an interview with Yassin published Wednesday in the Palestinian al-Ayyam newspaper, the Hamas founder and spiritual leader said "We are holding remains of the body of an Israeli soldier that belongs to the special forces."
The newspaper mentioned a report by the Israeli Maariv daily that Hamas held remains of the soldier's body.
The soldier was killed during an operation in which a force of naval commandos raided the house of the al-Ghul family in a central Gaza neighborhood on July 27, Yassin said. The force was searching for one family member, Adnan al-Ghul, believed to have founded the Hamas arms-production wing. Adnan was not in the house at the time, but four other Palestinians were killed in the raid. Bombs set off by Hamas in the area then killed the soldier.
Yassin told the newspaper that Hamas allowed the al-Ghul family to retain possession of the remains. The family is free to conduct negotiations through the Palestinian Authority on the price to be demanded of Israel for return of the remains, Yassin was quoted as saying.
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)