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Celebrations as Hamas announces capture of Israeli soldier

July 21, 2014 12:38 P.M. (Updated: July 22, 2014 5:57 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Palestinians across the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip celebrated late Sunday following an announcement by Hamas' military wing that it had captured an Israeli soldier.

Hundreds of people in Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem took to the streets, honking their car horns and launching fireworks following news of the capture.

In Hebron, the families of Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons said they were happy with the news.

One mother told Ma'an that "despite our grief and sadness over our brothers in Gaza who died martyrs or were injured, the news of kidnapping an Israeli soldier filled us with delight."

Many families hope that their relatives will be released in exchange for captured Israeli soldiers.

The al-Qassam Brigades said during a speech by spokesman Abu Ubaida aired live on Ma'an News Agency's satellite channel that the captured soldier is named Shaul Aron and his military number is 6092065.

An Israeli military spokeswoman could not confirm news of the capture.

In the past, Israel has agreed to release Palestinian prisoners kept in Israeli jails in exchange for kidnapped Israeli soldiers, and Hamas has called for soldiers to be captured.

In 2011, captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was exchanged for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.

Israel has recently rearrested over 50 Palestinians released in the deal and currently holds over 5,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails.
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