An Israeli soldier who has been in prison in Gaza for 5 years without so much as a visit by the Red Cross.
Apparently a deal has been reached for his release.
The terms are not yet known, but the Israeli cabinet is voting on it tonight (Israel time).
Updates to follow:
Haaretz and other news sources are confirming the deal:
Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said that “a brief window of opportunity has been opened that would possibly lead to Gilad Shalit’s homecoming,” adding: “The window appeared following fears that collapsing Mideast regimes and the rise of extremist forces would make Gilad Shalit’s return impossible.”
Netanyahu is holding a press conference right now, and confirming via Twitter:
Report from Al-Jazeera English is that the deal involves 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
And more details are coming out which will be hard for Israelis to hear, but the list includes killers like expert bombmaker Abdullah Barghouti (who built the bombs used in several high profile terrorist attacks killing 90 Israelis), Ibrahim Hamed (the chief of Hamas’s military operations in the West Bank,) and others with blood directly on their hands. One has to wonder how many Israelis will die in the future at the hands of the prisoner’s being released.
Israel television says released prisoners have 1200 Israeli vistims on their hands.
Israeli officials are denying that Marwan Barghouti is on the list (he’s not part of Hamas).
And, via Ynet:
All Palestinian female prisoners held in Israeli prisons are included in the
list of 450 including Amina Mona, a young woman who lured a lovestruck Israeli
teenage boy by the name of Ophir Nahum to a Palestinian city over the Internet,
only to have him killed by waiting terrorists.