Israeli PM says prisoner swap with Hamas decided on Monday 2009-03-15 18:27:02
Israel's outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday said that his government would make on Monday its decision on a possible prisoner swap deal with Hamas.
Two high-ranking Israeli officials are now in Cairo for meetings with Egyptian mediators on the expected exchange, which would see the return of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Hinting that progress has been made on the issue, which gathers increasing public attention, Olmert said that "until today, Hamas' position was far beyond what the most moderate figures that pressured and pushed for a deal with Hamas would have accepted."
Recently revealed bargaining showed that any exchange deal would see Israel free hundreds of Palestinian detainees from its jails in return, many of whom were involved in deadly attacks against Israelis.
Should a deal be reached and approved, the swap would begin with Israel releasing 300 prisoners and Hamas transferring Shalit to Egypt, which would be followed up with the release of 150 more Palestinian prisoners and the return of Shalit to Israel, according to Ha'aretz.
My guess is that the additional 150 Palestinian prisoners will never see the light of day once Shalit is returned. What say you?