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Hamas calls on resistance to capture Israeli soldiers

Feb. 25, 2013 10:33 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 26, 2013 5:11 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Senior Hamas leader Salah al-Bardawil on Sunday urged resistance fighters to kidnap Israeli soldiers at a rally to protest the death of a Palestinian in Israeli custody.

Hamas organized two huge rallies in Khan Younis and Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip to protest the death of 30-year-old Arafat Jaradat in Megiddo prison. Palestinian officials say an autopsy conducted in Israel showed Jaradat died of extreme torture.

Speaking at the rally in Khan Younis, al-Bardawil urged the resistance to kidnap Israeli soldiers. The abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit led to the release of over 1,000 Palestinians in 2011 in a prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel.

Israel has since rearrested several of the prisoners granted amnesty in the deal, including Samer Issawi and Ayman Sharawna who have been on hunger strike for over 200 days.

Al-Bardawil urged Egypt to show responsibility toward the prisoner exchange, which was brokered in Cairo.

"A new Palestinian Intifada is about to break out in support of prisoners," al-Bardawil said, urging all Palestinians to join activities to support detainees.

He appealed to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority to boycott public and secret negotiations with Israel in protest over Jaradat's death.

In Rafah, several former prisoners participated in a rally after evening prayers.

"The occupation is practicing piracy against the Islamic nation publicly," said Sheikh Mansour Break who spoke on behalf of Hamas at the rally.

He referred to Israel's assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai and the ongoing detention of Palestinian engineer Dirar Abu Sisi.

Abu Sisi disappeared in Feb. 2011 while traveling on a train in Ukraine and Israel later announced that it was holding him in a southern Israeli jail.

His lawyer said recently that the engineer, a father of six, was losing the ability to recall language and had speech impairments after spending two years in solitary confinement.
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