The Ma'an news agency quoted Hammad al-Ruqab, the Hamas district spokesman in Khan Yunis, as urging the kidnappings "whatever the cost." In particular, al-Ruqab said the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, should step up the kidnapping efforts.
The call came just a day after Palestinian prisoners in Israel ended a hunger strike that resulted in reforms, including a requirement Israeli authorities provide a list of charges against administrative detainees or release them. Israel also agreed to end solitary confinement and allow family visits.
Palestinians released kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit last October following five years of captivity in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.