Report: Shalit Swap to Get Underway Tuesday

According to Al-Hayat newspaper, Israel softened stance on Palestinian prisoners to be freed in exchange for abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Al-Hayat newspaper reported Thursday that Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshal and the leader of the armed wing of Hamas Ahmed al-Ghandour reached Cairo last night in order to coordinate the final details of the Shalit prisoner exchange deal.

Egyptian sources told Al-Hayat that Shalit will be transferred to the Egyptians on Tuesday to an undisclosed location as part of the first phase.

A painting depicting Gilad Shait in Gaza
AP

According to Egyptian sources, Egypt presented 20 different offers to Israel and Hamas during the last three months in order to close the gap between the two sides and reach a final agreement.

In the final round of talks, Israel agreed to release 40 prisoners out of 70 that it had refused to release previously.

Also on Thursday, Abu Mujihad, a spokesman for the Salah al-Din Brigades that had been in possession of Shalit, said it intended to release a video recording documenting Shalit's 5-year captivity, adding that it would prove that the Israeli soldier was treated fairly.

The spokesman said that the video documented the relationship between Shalit's captures and the IDF soldier, as well as the various methods the Palestinian militants used in order to hide Shalit's whereabouts from Israeli security forces.

Speaking with A Shams radio, the spokesman for the Gaza group said that the recording will be released a few days following the completion of the Shalit deal, as soon as Salah al-Din Brigades, a group which participated in the IDF soldiers' abduction, sees that all of the Palestinian prisoners are released as promised.