A group of prominent American Muslims, including two members of Congress, issued a letter urging Hamas to immediately release captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
The Aug. 26 letter’s 11 signatories includeReps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.) as well as Muslim academics and communal figures.
“We believe Hamas’ harsh treatment and five-year detention of Shalit is wrong,” the Muslim leaders wrote in their letter, which was addressed to Khaled Mashal, the Syrian-based chairman of Hamas’ political bureau.
Hamas published operational details about its abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
As part of events marking five years since its gunmen tunneled across the Gaza Strip border to seize Shalit, the Hamas website Al-Qassamiyoun this week featured an expose on the operation it dubbed "Shattered Illusions."
The site confirmed what already has been reported in Israel about the June 25, 2006 raid, during which three of Shalit's comrades where killed while he was spirited, wounded, back to Gaza.
When Fatah signed its power-sharing agreement with Hamas back in May the deal was hailed as part of Mahmoud Abbas' bold strategy to bolster his bid for U.N. recognition and membership by showing the Palestinians were united in their desire for statehood.
Hamas has rejected a German-mediated offer to free Gilad Shalit that had been accept by the Israeli government.
Hamas political bureau deputy chief Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzouk in an interview with the Al Hayat newspaper called the offer "unjust" and said the German mediator “endorsed the unfair and unjust positions of the Zionist government,” according to reports.
Hamas will no longer negotiate with the German mediator, he added.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The American Israel Public Affairs Committee said it "appreciated" President Obama's clarification that he did not expect Israel to return to its 1967 lines.
"In particular, we appreciate his statement that the U.S. does not expect Israel to withdraw to the boundaries that existed between Israel and Jordan in 1967 before the Six-Day War," the pro-Israel lobby said in a statement released after Obama delivered a speech Sunday to its annual policy conference.