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Israel minister hints at possible prisoner release

Written by: Staff

JERUSALEM, July 7 (Reuters) An Israeli cabinet minister today raised the prospect that Israel might free some Palestinian prisoners if militants release a captured soldier and end rocket fire and other attacks.

Israel has until now said it will not negotiate on swapping prisoners for the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit, held by militants in the Gaza Strip since June 25.

Interior Minister Avi Dichter was quoted by his spokesman today as telling a conference that if Shalit was freed and attacks stopped then Israel ''knows how to carry out a release of prisoners as a goodwill gesture.'' REUTERS SI PM1954

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