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Israel: Gaza Borders Closed Until Soldier Freed

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli officials say the country's Security
Cabinet has decided to keep the Gaza Strip's border crossings
closed until an Israeli soldier is freed.
The decision is likely to set back Egyptian efforts to broker a
cease-fire between Israel and the Hamas militants who control Gaza.
The talks come in the wake of a harsh Israeli military offensive in
Gaza that ended last month.
Hamas has been demanding that Israel end its blockade of Gaza as
part of a cease-fire. It says the case of the soldier should be
settled separately.
But in Wednesday's meeting, the Israeli Cabinet ministers said
they will not ease the economic pressure on Gaza until Sgt. Gilad
Schalit comes home. The soldier was captured by Hamas militants
nearly three years ago.


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