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Hamas: List of 1,000+ Prisoners for Shalit Is Final

A spokesman for Hamas said on Saturday that its list of more than 1,000 prisoners it wants released in return for captured soldier Gilad Shalit is final. Boosted by Hizbullah’s success in negotiating its prisoner swap with Israel, Hamas has increased its demands both in number and in terms of the crimes committed by the detainees. Israel has already obliterated its "red-line" of not releasing those involved in the deaths of Israelis, and Hamas is dead-set on exploiting the concession. Egyptian officials involved in brokering talks between Hamas and Israel, however, indicate some wiggle-room exists whereby the number of released prisoners could be lowered if the seriousness of offenses committed by those released is increased. A ministerial committee that will meet in Israel on Sunday is expected to make the adjustments in Israeli policy.