Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

ENCORE!

Haute Couture: the hand-stitched clothing made in Paris that sells for the price of small yachts

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Caution, another Cast Lead lies ahead'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Rising into the ranks of Haute Couture

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive (part 2)

Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

  • Are French high school students getting smarter?

    Read more

  • Italy’s Trentin wins seventh stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Disgraced Suarez leaves Liverpool for Barcelona

    Read more

  • In pictures: Chanel, Dior and so much more at the Paris couture shows

    Read more

  • French ‘Civic Service’ eyes massive expansion amid huge demand

    Read more

  • Kurdish forces take over two oilfields in northern Iraq

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • In Pictures: Petrol station hit by Hamas rockets

    Read more

  • Manhunt as FIFA partner flees Rio hotel to avoid arrest

    Read more

  • Video: Living in Tel Aviv, under threat of rocket attack

    Read more

  • Video: Palestinians fear full Israeli military offensive in Gaza

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces close in on Donetsk

    Read more

Middle east

Palestinian prisoners freed in exchange for Shalit video

©

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-10-02

Israel began releasing 19 Palestinian female prisoners on Friday in the first part of a breakthrough deal with Hamas. In return, the Israeli authority is awaiting a minute-long video proving captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is alive.

AFP - Nineteen Palestinian women left an Israeli prison Friday in a breakthrough swap for a video of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who has been held by Gaza militants since June 2006.
  
The Palestinians were seen leaving the HaSharon women's prison in central Israel aboard police vans.
  
Eighteen were headed to a military base in the occupied West Bank, where they were to be released to their families.
  
The 19th was to be taken to a prison in the southern port city of Ashkelon and then to the Erez border crossing with the Gaza Strip.
  
Another woman is to be released in the coming days, Israeli officials said.
  
The exchange deal marked a major breakthrough in nearly three years of on-again, off-again Egyptian-brokered negotiations between Israel and Hamas. German mediators joined the talks in July.
  
Cairo has been trying to broker a deal under which hundreds of Palestinian prisoners would be released in exchange for Shalit, who has been held in Gaza since June 2006.
  
"Israel will receive updated and clear proof on the health and condition of Gilad Shalit. This proof of life will be handed to Israel by the mediators in the form of a videotape that has recently been filmed," the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said when first announcing the deal on Wednesday.
  
"The video is one minute long and is proof that Shalit is alive," said a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, one of the three groups that carried out the raid in which Shalit was captured.
  
Shalit, now 23, was seized in June 2006 after Gaza militants, including Hamas, tunnelled out of the Palestinian territory and attacked an Israeli army post, killing two soldiers.
  
Netanyahu's office stressed the latest development did not herald an imminent release of the captive soldier but was meant as a confidence-building measure ahead of "decisive stages in the negotiations," and warned that the talks were still expected to be "long and arduous."
  
All but one of the Palestinian women due to be released are from the West Bank and none has been directly implicated in the killing of Israelis.
  
They include members of the Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
  
A 15-year-old Palestinian girl who was on the initial list of prisoners to be released in the swap was freed on Wednesday after a parole board shortened her sentence in a development not connected with the prisoner swap.
  
The teenager was serving 11 months for attempted murder and an attack on a police officer.
  
A total of 7,200 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, 60 of them women -- including those to be released on Friday -- and 320 are under 18 years of age, according to the prisons service.

Date created : 2009-10-02

Comments

COMMENT(S)