Two Hamas men killed; Israel moves closer to prisoners exchange deal with Hamas
Israel launched an air strike in the Gaza Strip on Monday, killing two Hamas members and wounding two, Palestinian medical sources reported. Hamas, said the four men were travelling in a car near the border fence with Israel and close to the al-Bureij refugee camp when the attack occurred.
According to Reuters, an Israeli army spokesman said an air strike had been launched against Palestinian activists in the central Gaza Strip. Israel has killed more than 20 Palestinians in the past two weeks.
Meanwhile, it seems Israel is moving closer to clinch a deal with Hamas on prisoners swap. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will convene senior ministers later Monday to broaden the definition of Palestinian prisoners who can be freed in future releases, officials said, according to the AP. The change is aimed at allowing Israel to release Palestinian prisoners who were involved in attacks on Israelis as part of a possible deal for the release of an Israeli soldier captured by Gaza fighters last year, Israeli media reported.
"We are in such a situation that, if we continue with the criteria that was used in the past, there will be no one else left to free," Ephriam Sneh, a lawmaker and former defense minister deputy on Monday told Israel's Army Radio. "If we want to free prisoners ... and bring about the release of Gilad Shalit, we will have to broaden this." Shalit is the Israeli soldier who was captured in late June 2006. In recent days there were several press reports about progress in the negotiations between Hamas and Israel regarding a possible prisoners exchange deal.