Thursday, October 1, 2009

Israel Releases Palestinian Women

From Outlook India:

Signalling a breakthrough in the deadlock over prisoners' exchange, Israel today decided to release 20 female Palestinian detainees in exchange for a new videotape of an Israeli soldier abducted three years ago.

The video will be viewed as an evidence that Sgt Gilad Schalit is alive after more than three years of captivity in Gaza.

The exchange will be carried out on Friday after the Justice Ministry today posts the names of the Palestinian prisoners on its website and no legal hassles delay the process.

The suggestion for an "unequivocal" proof of the Israeli soldier's condition came from the German mediator, working together with the Egyptians.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu congratulated Hagai Hadas, who is leading efforts to release Shalit, and the team on their "professional work" away from the spotlight.

"It is important that the whole world will know that Gilad Schalit is alive and well, and that Hamas is responsible for his fate and well being," Netanyahu said.

A statement released by the PMO said the cabinet decided to respond positively to this initiative as a "confidence building measure within the framework of the indirect negotiations" with Hamas over Schalit.

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