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Israel To Free 20 for Shalit film
 
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30-Sep-2009  
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Israel has said it will release 20 Palestinian women from detention in return for proof that captured soldier Gilad Shalit is still alive.

A statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said it was waiting to receive video taken recently by his militant captors in Gaza.

Israel currently holds about 10,000 Palestinian prisoners.

Gilad Shalit has not been seen since his capture by Hamas militants in a raid on an Israeli border base in 2006.

The Israeli statement said the deal had been proposed by Egyptian and German mediators as a "confidence-building measure".

The Hamas group is demanding the release hundreds of prisoners, many serving lengthy sentences for carrying out militant attacks, in exchange for the soldier.

Mr Shalit's captors have released several letters and an audio message, but he has been denied access from the international humanitarian officials despite repeated requests.

Sources close to the negotiations said the exchange was scheduled to take place on Friday, after a list of the women had been circulated to allow any legal objections to be lodged.

The BBC's Katya Adler in Jerusalem says this is the latest in a series of on-again, off-again negotiations.

The Shalit case constantly makes headline news in Israel and the public is hungry for any information about him.
 
 
 
Source: BBC/Middle East
 
 

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