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Monday, July 03, 2006

AP Wire - Soldier's Captors Give Israel Ultimatum

Israel is faced with a dire decision. Read as follows:

Soldier's Captors Give Israel Ultimatum; By Ibrahim Barzak 07.03.2006, 05:17 AM


Three Palestinian militant groups that captured an Israeli soldier issued a statement Monday giving Israel less than 24 hours to start releasing 1,500 Palestinian prisoners or "bear all the consequences."

The ultimatum came as Israel made good on its promise to continue its military offensive until the soldier was freed, firing artillery shells and missiles into the coastal strip and massing troops and tanks along the Gaza-Israel border.

The militant groups, in a statement posted on the Web site of the ruling Hamas party's military wing, did not expressly say what the consequences would be, but implied the soldier could be killed. Israeli government spokesman Asaf Shariv said officials were studying the statement.

"We give the Zionist enemy until 6:00 tomorrow morning, Tuesday, July 4," the groups said in their statement, which was also faxed to news agencies.

"If the enemy does not respond to our humanitarian demands mentioned in previous leaflets on the conditions for dealing with the case of the missing soldier ... we will consider the soldier's case to be closed," it said. "And then the enemy must bear all the consequences of the future results."

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