GAZA, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Prime Minister of the Hamas government Ismail Haneya said Saturday that Hamas will never stop resistance until Israel ends its occupation, on the occasion of the second anniversary of the Egyptian-brokered prisoner swap deal.
In June 2006, militants from Hamas and the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in a cross-border attack. Shalit was secretly held for more than five years in the Gaza Strip until Egypt brokered a deal in October 2011, under which the Israeli soldier was freed in exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
Hamas will never stop struggling until the release of all Arab prisoners, Haneya said. There are about 4,700 Arab prisoners in Israeli jails.
Meanwhile, he called for halting the Mideast peace talks and renewing all types of "resistance" against Israel. "We call for the renewal of the armed and popular struggle and all types of struggle against the Israeli occupation in the West Bank to defend Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque," he said.
Commenting on the tunnel from Gaza to Israel that the Israeli army uncovered last week, Haneya said "the resistance men work on and under the ground for the liberation battle."
Israel Defense Force (IDF) said on Oct. 13 that it uncovered a 1.7-kilometer-long tunnel, leading from Hamas-controlled Gaza to Israel. Israeli army officials said it is believed that the tunnel was dug by Hamas in order to carry out an attack against Israel or to kidnap soldiers or civilians.
Abu Mujahid, the PRC spokesman in Gaza, told Xinhua that the ideal strategy to free all Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons "can only be achieved through kidnapping Israeli soldiers and exchange them for our prisoners, because the occupation ( Israel) only understands the language of force."
"The Palestinian resistance groups will never calm down until all the prisoners are released from Israeli jails," Abu Mujahid said, adding that "destroying tunnels is not the end, they ( Israelis) will never be able to break our determination to free our prisoners."