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The breakthrough that led to the Shalit prisoner exchange

by Barak Ravid, Haaretz

October 11, 2011 | 2:14 pm

Captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in October 2009. Photo by REUTERS/Handout/Files

Captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in October 2009. Photo by REUTERS/Handout/Files

The dramatic cabinet meeting planned to discuss the details of a deal to release abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was convened Tuesday evening after a breakthrough in talks geared at Gilad Shalit’s release over the past few days, in negotiations held in Cairo and mediated by Egyptian and German officials.

Netanyahu and his top ministers, known as the Forum of Eight, help two secret, lengthy meetings in the last two days in which ministers were updated of the deal’s details.

David Meidan, the top Israeli official in charge of Shalit talks, has been spending the last few days in Cairo, contemporaneously with senior officials in Hamas’ military wing. Both sides agreed to show flexibility one last time in order to seal the deal.

On Sunday, Netanyahu convened an eight-hour Forum of Eight meeting which lasted until 4 A.M., a meeting the very existence of which was placed under gag order. Ministers who attended the meeting refused to reveal any of the issues discussed.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

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