Hamas: Israel-Hezbollah prisoner swap victory for resistance

By Xinhua,

Gaza : Islamic Hamas movement Wednesday said the prisoner swap between Israel and Hezbollah is a victory for the resistance and the Lebanese guerillas.

Support TwoCircles

“This is very big victory for the resistance and for Hezbollah and it is a festival for the prisoners and their families,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.

“This is also a proof that kidnapping Zionist soldiers is the best way to free the prisoners since the occupation keeps arresting them,” Abu Zuhri added.

The prisoner swap is taking place Wednesday after the Israeli Cabinet approved to release five Lebanese prisoners, in addition to 199 others killed while infiltrating northern Israel, in exchange for two Israeli soldiers held by Hezbollah.

Among the detainees who will be released was Sami al-Kuntar arrested in 1979 for killing three Israelis and one Israeli police. Israel has excluded Kuntar from an earlier swap with Hezbollah a few years ago.

“Releasing Kuntar and the other prisoners who have heavy sentences broke the occupation’s theory that this category of prisoners can not be released,” according to Abu Zuhri.

Meanwhile, Hamas said the day will come for the Palestinian prisoners to be freed, stressing that “Hamas spares no efforts to secure the release of our prisoners.”

Hamas also holds an Israeli soldier, who was captured in June 2006 during a cross-border raid in the Gaza Strip.

“Hamas tells the family of Gilad Shalit (the captured Israeli soldier) that the one responsible for delaying his return to you was Olmert,” Abu Zuhri said, referring to the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Hamas demands to free 1,000 Palestinians, in addition to jailed women, children, sick and old prisoners in exchange for Shalit in an ongoing Egypt-brokered prisoner swap deal talks with Israel.