Report: Israel to Notify Egypt on Shalit Deal Decision Within 2 Days


gilad-shalit-smallBy Sunday, Israel will notify Egypt of its decision regarding the release of 50 “heavy” prisoners that Hamas is unwilling to forego in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, sources close to the prisoner swap negotiations were quoted by London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi.

According to the report, published today, Israel has opposed the release of these prisoners thus far. The sources said that Israel’s decision will determine whether the swap deal will succeed or fail.

 The sources said the “heavy” prisoners issue is the last remaining obstacle to a prisoner exchange. They added that former Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti will not be included in any prisoner exchange, despite his claims to the contrary.

On Thursday the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported that Israel is refusing to release senior leaders of the Hamas movement currently imprisoned in Israel for security reasons.

Palestinian sources known to be reliable and close to the negotiations for brokering a prisoner swap deal for the release of Shalit told the newspaper, “The Hamas movement is inclined to agree to a deal in which Palestinian prisoners will be released in exchange for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.”

 Gilad Shalit was kidnapped into Gaza by Palestinian terrorists on June 25, 2006.

{Ynet/Yair Israel}