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Israel Could Swap Captured Hamas Commander for Long-Held Soldier

An Israeli security official says a top Hamas commander captured last week could be a "bargaining chip" to win the release of an Israeli soldier held for over a year.

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter told Israeli Army Radio Monday that Hamas commander Mhawesh al-Qadi might be exchanged for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Israeli commandos dressed as Palestinian security forces abducted the Hamas commander in Gaza Strip in a raid on Friday. Shalit was captured by militant groups in Gaza in June 2006.

Hamas, which seized control of Gaza three months ago, has demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the Israeli soldier.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.