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"High time" for Hamas to return Israeli soldier-Rice

Written by: Staff
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WASHINGTON, July 5 (Reuters) It is ''high time'' for Hamas to release a captured Israeli soldier, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today said as Israel's prime minister ordered an expanded offensive against the ruling Palestinian movement.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert launched the operation last week after a soldier was seized by Hamas gunmen and other militants. The United States has urged restraint by all parties but pressed for the release of the soldier.

REUTERS SHB RK2220

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