Avi Issacharoff
October 18, 2012 - 12:00am

Hamas vowed Thursday to abduct more Israeli soldiers and hold them as bargaining chips for militants in Israeli jails, on the anniversary of the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

A Hamas spokesman said that "soldiers of the enemy can be a target anytime, they can be killed, wounded or held captive by militants."

The comments came as Hamas marked one year since the prisoner swap which saw Israel free 1,027 jailed Palestinians in two stages, in return for Shalit, an Israeli soldier held largely incommunicado in the Gaza Strip for over five years.

"The prisoners that Israel refused to release in the last exchange deal will be considered in any swap deal in the future," Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas' Qassam Brigades, told a news conference near the border between Gaza and Egypt on Thursday morning.

Also, the spokesman said that Hamas will release video footage that documents the 2006 abduction of Gilad Shalit, including preparations for his kidnapping and release.

The video, called "The Dispersion of Illusion," is said to reveal new information relating to the prisoner exchange deal, the abduction, and the conditions of Shalit's captivity.

Senior Hamas official Saleh Al-Aruri has also announced that some 18 prisoners who were transferred to Gaza after their release in the prisoner swap deal will soon return to their homes in the West Bank.

Their return was postponed by one month, Al-Aruri said, in the wake of difficulties imposed by the "Zionist occupation." Some of the prisoners have started new families in Gaza, and it is necessary to coordinate their return with them to the West Bank, he added, while others are currently in Saudi Arabia making the pilgrimage to Mecca.

In his first television interview aired on Wednesday, Shalit described his life after his return from Hamas captivity in Gaza. "It's difficult coming back to normal life. It's difficult socially. People have changed, have grown up, you feel as if you were left behind," he told Channel 10.


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