Hamas chief vows to kidnap more Israeli soldiers

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DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- The leader of the Islamist militant group Hamas has vowed to kidnap more Israeli soldiers to pressure the Jewish state to release Palestinian prisoners.

The comments from Khaled Mashaal come after the deal Hamas struck last year with Israel to swap an Israeli soldier held by Hamas for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, including many jailed for helping carry out bombings.

Mashaal told a conference in the Qatari capital of Doha late Friday that kidnapping Israeli soldiers was the only way to secure the release of some of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Mashaal has made similar statements before.