October 11th, 2011
03:43 PM ET

Israel, Hamas: Gilad Shalit to be swapped for Palestinian prisoners

[Updated at 3:43 p.m. ET] Israeli Army Radio reports that the exchange could involve the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, including women and children.

Israeli media are reporting that Hamas will soon announce the names of Palestinian prisoners that Israel will release in exchange for the return of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

[Updated at 3:22 p.m. ET] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting Tuesday that Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit - captured in Israel in June 2006 by Palestinian militants - will be returning to Israel in the next couple of days after a prisoner exchange with the Palestinians was brokered to release his freedom.

"We will return Gilad healthy and whole to his family and all of Israel," Netanyahu said. "The negotiations were difficult... we had to make difficult decisions but (the) correct one. With all the change taking place in the Middle East we did not know if a better deal or any deal would have been possible."

[Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET] A tweet from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says: "We have concluded ardeous negotiations with #Hamas to release #Gilad #Shalit. He will be coming home in the next few days."

A following tweet said: "the agreement to release #Shalit was signed in initials last Thursday and today was signed formally by the two parties."

[Updated at 2:54 p.m. ET] A deal has been brokered to exchange Palestinian prisoners for Gilad Shalit, Hamas military wing spokesman Abu Obeida confirmed to CNN.

[Posted at 2:23 p.m. ET] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called a government meeting at 8 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the possible release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, an Israeli government official told CNN.

The official said Netanyahu would not have called such a meeting unless he thought that the proposals for Shalit's release were serious.

Click here for more about Shalit.

Shalit was captured in Israel in June 2006 by Palestinian militants after they tunneled into the Jewish state and attacked an Israeli army outpost killing two soldiers.

Since then, he has been held incommunicado by Hamas, the movement that controls the Palestinian territory of Gaza. There have been ongoing attempts to broker a deal to release Shalit, and they have failed. The Israeli government and Hamas have not agreed on the numbers and terms for the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel in exchange for Shalit. In October 2009, Hamas released a tape of Shalit to prove he was still alive in exchange for the release of a number of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails.

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soundoff (240 Responses)
  1. FAB

    Just curious, why would a nation capture thousands of prisoners, including women and children?

    October 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samson

      They are just bargaining chips – that's all. You never know when you're going to need a thousand or so...

      October 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. PLEASE Note

    the story doesn't state that while in 5.5 Years (!!) of being held in hamass prison, only 1 videotaped sign of life was given to ISR & the man's family by hammas. no info on his conditions or treatment he recived was ever given. All that while, the palestinian prisonares (including those who murdered duzens of Israeli civilians aka human beings) enjoyed 3 joint meals a day, multy-channel arabic TV, joint breaks,MONTHLY FAMILY VISITS & get this – a permission to study a full BA on the expance of Israeli tax payer!!!
    PS an example for the palestinian women who breaks free for that 1 soldier, is amana moona – who seduced an Israeli 16 years old boy to meet her on ICQ & murdered him when he got there

    October 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ashley

    Not palestinian prisoners but MURDERERS

    October 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Okeefenokee Jokee

    The Palestinians had their chance in 1948...they declined it. They wanted more, more, more; so now they fight for the land that Israel has built up from dust. It's like someone being offered a free house, but declined it, because they want the beautiful mansion down the road...and then start shooting at the occupants. Simplistic, I know... they had their chance. They f'd it up. Live with it, cowards...even as Israel *still* treats the miscreants with dignity and respect.

    October 11, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lalala

    Umm?!?.... Just be happy!!

    October 11, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. fred ca

    What a shrewd deal. Value of palestinians to Israelis is usually 2500 to one...

    October 11, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. saywhat

    @ Danielle @ Please note @ Okeefenokee jokes and others like minded.
    One can only shake one's head at your hatred & ignorance.

    Ask the brave morally upstanding Jews of Gush Shalom & Bat Shalom or brave Israeli men & women of No Legal Frontier or the courageous Jews of American orgs like JStreet , Jewish Voice for Peace, Rabbis for Peace of N. America. Or Rabbinical leaders like Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rabbi Manachem Fruman and thousands others. They'll tell you what the Zionist far far right apartheid regimes have been doing to Palestinians and how humanity is being debased at the hands of the current regime.
    Or ask Alice Walker the 86 year old Jewish lady whose parents died in the Holocaust & who is now fighting for the rights of the Palestinians aboard the Peace flotilla. Oh! There are thousands like her who came out in the streets of Tel Aviv in August to voice there support for a Two State solution & against the policies of their regime on the issue of Palestine.
    Or listen to, if you have the courage to face the truth, what Jewish public intellectuals and academics like Noam Chomsky, Uri Avnery. Ilan Pappi & hundreds others have to say about the to injustice being done to & misery of Palestinians & the truth behind Israeli propaganda. Our mainstream media unfortunately goes along.

    God help these brave peace loving Jews in their efforts to let the world know the truth.

    October 12, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. saywhat

    Good night all & take care.

    October 12, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. Cult of Personality

    To make this a fair and even exchange, I would suggest the Israeli's offer the Palestinian Terrorists they are about to release a glass of wine, laced with ricin. Only then, will it become a fair / even exchange.

    October 12, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. derbywinner

    lol its offical 1 Jew = 1000 palestinians... at least

    October 12, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. Paula Greenleaf

    Shalit will write a book and his fellow Jewish Hollywood media contacts will produce a movie of his imprisionment. This Hebrew will make millions of Shekels and Dollars. Meanwhile the thousand Palestinian political prisoners freed by Israel will be returned to the Israeli run concentration camp in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian political prisoners will be ignored by the Jewish run media. CBS, Viacom, ABC, Sony USA, The New York Times are run by Jewish media chieftains.

    October 12, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dortha

    I\'m not wothry to be in the same forum. ROTFL

    January 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
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