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Hamas confirms prisoner exchange deal for Gilad Shalit

Spokesperson for Gaza-ruling militant group says deal is different from previous proposals, as it includes the release of Israeli Arab prisoners serving life sentences.

by Jack Khoury, Haaretz Service

October 11, 2011 | 2:09 pm

Captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is seen in this file still image from video released on Oct. 2, 2009 by Israeli television. Photo by REUTERS/Handout/Files

Captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is seen in this file still image from video released on Oct. 2, 2009 by Israeli television. Photo by REUTERS/Handout/Files

Abu Obeida, spokesperson for Hamas’ military wing confirmed Tuesday the prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel to secure the release of Gilad Shalit.

According to Obeida, the deal that was reached is different from previous proposals, as it is the first one to take place “according to Hamas’ terms”, and will secure the release of Israeli Arab prisoners in both Jerusalem and Israel who are serving life sentences.

Obeida’s comments came following a report by Al-Arabiya, according to which a deal had been announed between Israel and Hamas earlier on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are meeting several ministers in the Prime Minister’s Office in order to pressure them into voting for the deal, with Netanyahu aides estimating that the deal will be approved by the cabinet.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

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