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Kidnapping Israeli Soldiers 'Top Priority' Hamas says


JERUSALEM, Israel -- Kidnapping Israeli soldiers is a "top priority," Gaza-based Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, was quoted as saying. 

"Abducting Israeli soldiers is a top priority on the agenda of Hamas and the Palestinian resistance," Haniyeh told participants at a conference in Gaza City that focused on Palestinian Arab prisoners, the  Ma'an news agency  reported.

Haniyeh said the best way to free prisoners is using captured soldiers as bargaining chips, saying it's an "unquestionable fact" that "negotiations with the occupation have failed."

Hamas kidnapped former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in June 2006 and held him captive for five years before exchanging him for more than 1,000 terror prisoners.

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