Israeli prosecutor: Shalit to be swapped for 980 Palestinians

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel would free up to 980 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for captured soldier Gilad Shalit.

Some 450 prisoners would be released to free Shalit, who has been held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip for more than three years, before as many as another 530 would be freed following his release as a "gesture to the Palestinians," Israel’s State Prosecutor’s office announced Sunday, according to reports.

The information was disclosed in response to a suit filed in Israel’s Supreme Court by the Almagor Terror Victims Association and three bereaved parents, who had requested that the Palestinian prisoners’ names be made public.

The names were not made public because, according to the state prosecutor, "the sides have explicitly promised the foreign mediator, as a condition for the negotiations, that the details of the negotiations would remain discreet, in order to allow him to hold effective negotiations between the sides, which would not be run through and by the media."

Shalit’s parents met Sunday with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for an update on the negotiations.

"We are neither encouraged nor the opposite. We’re still waiting," the soldier’s father, Noam, said following the meeting. "We have nothing new."

The Voice of Palestine radio station said Saturday that Shalit would be transferred soon to Egypt in preparation for his release. Egypt and Germany have been mediating the prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas.

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