updated 1/19/2007 7:58:08 AM ET 2007-01-19T12:58:08

A Palestinian militant group involved in abducting an Israeli soldier said on Friday it will try to seize more soldiers and settlers to secure the return of the bodies of Palestinians it says Israel is holding.

“The Popular Resistance Committees warns the Zionist enemy it will use all means of capturing soldiers and settlers alive and will keep the remains of their dead until (Israel) releases the bodies of our holy martyrs,” spokesman Awni Zannoun said in a statement.

The PRC said it had information that the bodies of at least 144 Palestinians killed in decades of conflict were buried in four cemeteries in Israel and the West Bank. Israel’s army had no immediate comment on the PRC statement.

The PRC was one of three militant groups which seized Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit in June last year in a raid into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said Israel would be prepared to free detained Palestinians if Shalit is returned.

But two weeks ago an Israeli government official denied assertions from the Islamist group Hamas, whose armed wing was also involved in Shalit’s abduction, that progress had been made in talks for a possible prisoner swap to free him.

Suicide bomb threat
Another Palestinian militant group, Islamic Jihad, threatened on Friday to resume suicide bombings in Israel in retaliation for continued Israeli army operations in the West Bank.

“The enemy should await the right response in the right place we choose. All its security measures will fail,” said Abu Hamza spokesman of the Jerusalem Brigades of the Islamic Jihad.

“...The Jerusalem Brigades will strike at the appropriate time and place,” he added in statement.

Islamic Jihad has rejected a Gaza truce declared by Israel and several Palestinian militant groups in November, saying it would not agree to a cease-fire unless Israeli military activity also stopped in the West Bank. It has claimed responsibility for several rocket attacks into Israel since then.

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