Arab Press: Shalit Injured in Attack

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CBNNews.com - GAZA STRIP - Arab news media broadcast a Hamas report that captured IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Corporal Gilad Shalit was injured during an Israeli air strike.

Shalit was kidnapped in a cross-border attack on an IDF outpost near the Kerem Shalom crossing with the Gaza Strip on June 25, 2006. Two soldiers were killed and three injured in the attack.

"There are reports that Zionist soldier Gilad Shalit was injured in one of the [Israeli] Air Force strikes in Gaza," the reporter said. No further details were provided.

Hamas passed the information to a number of media outlets, including al-Jazeera and an Egyptian television station, which broadcast the report.

Israeli defense officials said it is likely part of Hamas's psychological warfare against Israel.

"Gilad Shalit is a valuable asset for Hamas. We believe it will do everything to keep him alive," an IDF statement read.

"The IDF holds Hamas responsible for everything that happens to Gilad Shalit," it stated.

Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai told Army Radio the report didn't take Israel by surprise.

"We had expected that Hamas would try to use Gilad as part of their political manipulation," Vilnai said.

"We take Gilad into account in every action we take in Gaza," he said. "I believe the less we talk about this matter, the better," he said.

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