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Deal close to free Israeli soldier

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (BDCi) – The Israeli government was due to meet in emergency session Tuesday to discuss a proposal to exchange Palestinian prisoners for an Israeli soldier who has been held by Hamas for more than five years, a senior Israeli official said.

The official said al 29 ministers had been summoned for the meeting concerning the fate of the captive soldier, Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhu viewed the proposal on the table as serious.

Al Arabiyya, the satellite network was reporting that Egyptian mediators made a breakthrough and they exchange for Mr. Shalit could happen as early as November.

One Israeli official said that Mr. Netanyahu had already met with his most senior ministers to review the names of hundreds of Hamas prisoners to be released.

Sergeant Shalit was seized in a cross-border raid by Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups in June 2006, and was taken into Gaza. He was 19 at the time, and efforts to end his prolonged incarceration in Gaza have become an emotional cause in Israel.

By: Natania Levine Courtesy: Photo: Google 11 October 2011

11:22 am P.D.T

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