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News Brief

July 3, 2006
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Ehud Olmert vowed not to yield to ransom demands of Palestinians who abducted an Israeli soldier. “We have no intention of yielding to any form of extortion,” the prime minister told his Cabinet on Sunday, a week after Cpl. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped in a deadly raid across the Gaza border by Palestinian gunmen including members of Hamas. The captors have demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinians from Israeli jails in exchange for Shalit, but the Olmert government has ruled this out. The decision has put it at odds with Shalit’s family, which argued in press interviews that a prisoner swap could be a solution. Olmert praised the Shalits for their “admirable stamina” in the crisis, and said he had authorized Israeli forces to hit at all those involved in the abduction.

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