Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas which rules Gaza have agreed on a deal to swap the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held captive for five years, for the release of a proposed 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
Here is a timeline of events since Shalit was captured:
June 25, 2006 - Hamas militants launch raid into Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing two soldiers and capturing Shalit.
June 28 - Israeli troops invade the Gaza Strip.
Sept 15 - Letter from Shalit reaches his family via Egyptian mediators brokering a prisoner swap deal.
Oct 1 - Worst internal Palestinian fighting in a decade raises fears of a civil war in Gaza.
Nov 26 - Ceasefire in Gaza announced, ends five months of Israeli air strikes and incursions that fail to free Shalit.
June 14, 2007 - Hamas takes over Gaza from Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. At least 100 die in fighting.
June 25 - Israeli TV airs audio tape from Shalit’s captors asking for medical treatment and release of Palestinians.
Sept 8 - Israeli special forces disguised as Hamas gunmen capture Hamas commander.
Dec 26 - Hamas says Shalit won’t be freed unless Israel frees 1,400 Palestinian prisoners, many long-term.
April 24, 2008 - Hamas leader offers Israel six-month truce in Gaza but says fate of Shalit separate issue.
May 12 - Israel says ceasefire deal must include Shalit. Ceasefire talks falter 10 days later.
June 9 - Israeli television says Shalit’s family receives hand-written letter from their son.
June 17 - Israel and Hamas agree to Egyptian-brokered ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
July 4 - Hamas suspends prisoner swap talks in dispute over Israeli blockade and cross-border rocket fire from Gaza.
Sept 25 - Hamas rejects list of prisoners Israel is ready to free in exchange for Shalit, saying it wants more.
Dec 19 - Fragile six-month ceasefire between Israel and Hamas expires as they fail to agree on terms to extend truce.
Dec 27 - Israel launches 22-day military offensive in the Gaza Strip, in response to increased rocket fire into southern Israel. Some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis are killed.
Jan 18, 2009 - Israel and Hamas cease fire in Gaza.
Feb 14 - Gaza truce deal stalls after Israel insists on Shalit release as condition to ceasefire.
Sept 30 - Israel and Hamas confirm deal to exchange proof that Shalit is alive for release of 20 female Palestinians.
Oct 2 - Video is handed over and authenticated in which Shalit looked “pale but in good health”. A Red Cross convoy carries women to freedom in the West Bank and Gaza.
Nov 25 - Israel rejects a demand for the release of several Hamas commanders as part of any exchange for Shalit, signalling talks have hit a snag. Israel has long balked at granting amnesty to Palestinians jailed for attacks that killed Israelis.
June 27, 2010 - Shalit’s parents begin a 12-day march from their northern home to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau’s Jerusalem residence to press for a prisoner swap.
April 9, 2011 - The Israeli military says that Tayser Abu Snima, a top Hamas militant, killed in a raid, was “directly and physically involved” in Shalit’s capture.
June 23 - The International Committee of the Red Cross calls on Hamas to provide proof that Shalit is still alive five years after his capture.
July 4 - Defence Minister Ehud Barak halts the handover of 84 bodies of Palestinian militants to Palestinian authorities, hours after the military said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had approved the move. The stop order is to ensure no harm would be done to negotiations on any future swap deal to secure Shalit’s release.
Oct 3 - Hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails join a hunger strike to protest against worsening prison conditions, the Palestinian minister for prisoner affairs says. Netanyahu toughened restrictions on Palestinian prisoners as part of an effort to force Hamas to free Shalit.
Oct 11 - Israeli and Hamas officials say a deal has been reached to swap Shalit for a proposed 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit and Jerusalem Newsroom