Hamas captors holding Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in Gaza move him from hideout to hideout twice a week, officials close to group's armed wing said yesterday.

Sources close to Hamas' Qassam Brigades said in statements published on Gazan news sites that Hamas changes the hideouts for fear that Israel is planning a "selective military operation to free Shalit."

"Hamas is smart enough to keep Shalit's hideout top secret," an official said.

Shalit was captured in a June 2006 cross-border raid from Gaza on a southern military base.

So far, Egyptian and German mediators have failed to finalize a prisoners swap between Hamas and Israel. Hamas demands the freedom of some 1,000 jailed Palestinians in exchange for the Israeli soldiers.

The officials added that the Qassam Brigades earlier this week "arrested" several Palestinians who allegedly collaborated with Israel and tried to follow Qassam militants to find Shalit's hideout.