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Israel considers expelling Hamas leaders

The Israeli government is considering expelling Hamas leaders from the West Bank as punitive measures for the kidnapping of three settlers; Israel's Channel 2 reported yesterday.

Reporter Audi Siegel said the Israeli leadership is considering several steps that will be reviewed by the Israeli judicial and security systems, including deporting Hamas activists as well as other penalties.

He said that these measures are to increase pressure on the Palestinian organisations, the Hamas leadership and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as Israeli sources believe that media pressure on the president will tempt him to take action.

Siegel noted that Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold another cabinet meeting today to follow up on the crisis, while an Israeli security source said that Hamas would be keen on maintaining a blurry position on the fate of the kidnapped settlers and would not issue a statement about their status at this stage.

He pointed out that Israel will turn the table through a variety of processes to deliver a message to Hamas that abducting the three settlers is a hindrance and not an achievement to be proud of.


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