The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has rejected proposals to expel the hunger-striking prisoners to Gaza as a condition for their release.
A leading Hamas figure in the Gaza Strip, Dr Mahmoud Al Zahar, told reporters that the "exchange agreement" for the release of Shalit does not allow Israel to re-arrest those who had been freed as part of the deal. He called for the immediate release of all those who were rearrested, stressing that it is their right to be free.
As Egypt continues efforts to secure the release of the hunger-strikers, Hamas has refused to be drawn into any course of action that requires another deal for their release. Officials fear that if this is done, they would enter into a vicious cycle of successive agreements. Meanwhile, Abdullah Qandil, the spokesman for the Waed Association for Prisoners in Gaza, confirmed that the prisoners have themselves rejected the expulsion proposal.