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Hamas wing: Israelis 'will pay' for prisoners left out of deal

Oct. 18, 2011 4:36 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 19, 2011 5:23 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israelis "will pay" for their government's refusal to release all prisoners held in Israeli jails for more than 10 years, a spokesman for Hamas' armed wing said Tuesday.

At a news conference in Gaza City, Abu Ubaida expressed regret that negotiations to swap Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit had failed to secure the freedom of all Palestinians jailed for over a decade.

But he vowed the brigades would not rest "until all Palestinians are freed."

Israel released 477 prisoners on Tuesday in exchange for Shalit. Under a deal agreed with Hamas, Israel will free an additional 550 detainees in two months.

Abu Ubaida said the talks had been a difficult process and thanked all those who contributed to the swap deal.

He added that Hamas treated Shalit well during his captivity "in accordance with Islamic tradition."

In an interview with Egyptian TV shortly after he was handed over to Egyptian intelligence officers, Shalit said he was in good health, although he appeared pale and dazed.

The soldier said he would be "very happy" if all Palestinian prisoners were released "so they can return again to their families and their lands."

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