The leader of Hamas said Friday that his movement is making every effort to capture Israeli troops as bargaining chips for the release of Palestinians in Israeli jails.
The declaration by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin came a day after a prisoner swap between Israel and Hizbullah.
"The (Palestinian) factions will spare no effort to kidnap Israeli soldiers and they tried many times, but the Israeli soldier today is cautious as a bird about its chick," Yassin told reporters.
Yassin said he believes Israel will only free Palestinian prisoners under pressure. "There is no solution to the prisoner issue except with the kidnapping of soldiers of the enemy and exchanging them with our own prisoners," he said, according to The AP.
Yassin said Hamas' military wing "planned and still plans and will plan" kidnappings.
In Iran, Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei sent a letter addressed to the Secretary General of the Hizbullah, Seyed Hassan Nasrallah following the swap.
In his message, the Iranian leader has emphasized, "The recent great incidence was another test, proving to the Islamic nation the vulnerability of the evil Zionist regime in confrontation with the resolute wills, and the strong faiths of the Jihad fighters who fight to please Allah."
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )