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Jordan Islamists hail Hamas-Israel deal 'victory'

Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood leader calls the prisoner-exchange deal between Hamas and Israel a great victory for Arabs and Muslims, plans celebratory demonstration

AFP , Thursday 13 Oct 2011
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Jordan's opposition Islamists on Thursday hailed a prisoner swap deal between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas as a "great victory" for Arabs and Muslims.

Muslim Brotherhood leader Hammam Said telephoned Hamas's exiled chief Khalid Meshaal "to congratulate him on this honourable and historic accomplishment," a statement on the group's website said.

"It is a great victory for the Arab and Muslim nations. What was taken by force can only be restored by force," he said, referring to the capture in June 2006 of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in a cross-border raid by Gaza militants.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which is ideologically close to Hamas, called for "a celebratory demonstration" in Amman later Thursday to express "gratitude for the heroes of the Palestinian resistance."

The deal, unveiled on Tuesday, is to see 1,000 Palestinians freed in return for the release of 25-year-old Shalit, who is expected to return to Israel via Egypt next week, according to Palestinian sources and Israeli media.

The agreement is to kick off with the release of 450 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit, with a second tranche of 550 prisoners to be freed within two months.

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