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Report: Israel would free 450 prisoners for Shalit

(JTA) — Israel would free all of the 450 prisoners demanded by Hamas in exchange for the return of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, according to reports.

Israel’s daily Ha’aretz reported Friday that, according to Palestinian sources, the two sides are now arguing over Israel’s demand that some of the prisoners be deported to other countries and that some go to Gaza rather than the West Bank. Hamas says prisoners must consent to their deportation and does not support prisoners being sent to Gaza instead of the West Bank.

Ha’aretz reported that Israel’s lead negotiator, Ofer Dekel, was in Cairo on Thursday for talks with Egyptian mediators. Hamas officials have publicly denied that there has been any progress in the talks, or even that talks are taking place.

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