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Israel weighs prisoner exchanges to bring home captured soldiers

[JURIST] A plan devised by Egyptian mediators calls for Israel [JURIST news archive] to release Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the return of an Israeli soldier held by Hamas [CFR backgrounder; JURIST news archive], Reuters reported Tuesday, citing an anonymous source. Under the proposal, Israel would free as many as 600 Palestinians, including women and children, while Hamas would hand over Cpl. Gilad Shalit [Wikipedia backgrounder], whose abduction from Gaza in June led Israel to detain about 30 Palestinian lawmakers [JURIST report], including nearly a third of the Hamas-led Palestinian Cabinet. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) [official website] have suggested that they would agree to release terror suspects [JURIST report] that have not been involved in planning or implementing terror attacks, but not those "with blood on their hands." Reuters has more.

Meanwhile, military sources told AP that Israel is willing to release 13 members of Hezbollah and dozens of bodies in exchange for the two IDF soldiers whose capture set off an Israeli offensive in Lebanon [JURIST news archive]. Such a deal would be brokered by an intermediary. Earlier this week, Haaretz newspaper reported that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had told the soldiers' parents that Israel would negotiate with Hezbollah for their release [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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