Peace with Realism

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The Human Face of Islam

The Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniya, who is from Hamas, a radical Islamic faction, urged the militants to keep Corporal Shalit alive and to continue indirect negotiations, which have been handled through Egyptian envoys.

The three Palestinian factions holding the soldier had set a 6 a.m. deadline today for Israel to begin releasing Palestinian prisoners; they threatened not to reveal anything further about Corporal Shalit, who they have held since June 25, if the demand was not met.

"Whether he will be killed or not killed, we will not disclose any information," said Abu al-Muthana, a spokesman for the Islamic Army, one of the groups.

But he also said: "We do not kill captives. Our Islam requires that we treat captives well and fairly."

Yet a young Israeli settler in the West Bank, Eliyahu Asheri, 18, who was also kidnapped in a separate incident last week, was found dead in a shallow grave with a single bullet wound to the head. The Popular Resistance Committees, another of the groups holding Corporal Shalit, claimed responsibility for Mr. Asheri's killing.

- From Myre, Greg and Steven Erlanger, "Palestinian Ultimatum Passes Without Incident," New York Times, July 4, 2006.

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