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Israel to swap prisoners for 'proof-of-life' tape

  • Story Highlights
  • Israel to release prisoners in a deal for information on captured Israeli soldier
  • 20 Palestinian female prisoners and detainees to be freed under agreement
  • Israel wants recent 'proof-of-life' videotape of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit
  • Shalit was captured in June 2006 in a cross-border raid by Palestinian forces
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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israel will release 20 Palestinian female prisoners and detainees in a deal to obtain a recent proof-of-life videotape of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the Israeli Security Cabinet announced Wednesday.

Shalit was captured June 25, 2006, in a cross-border raid by Palestinian forces.

"It is important that the entire world know that Gilad Shalit is alive and well and that Hamas is responsible for his well-being and fate," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Hamas issued a statement confirming the deal.

"The Palestinian factions which completed this step is confirming the steadfastness of its position and its commitment to make its best effort to complete the deal to release our prisoners from the Zionist jails," said Abu Obeida, a spokesman for the Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades.

The list of female prisoners and detainees designated for release, information about them and the release process will be posted Wednesday on the Israel Prison Service Web site, Israel said.

Hamas gave this breakdown:

-- Four prisoners from Hamas.

-- Five prisoners from Fatah.

-- Three prisoners from the Islamic Jihad.

-- One prisoner of the Popular Front.

-- Seven "independent" prisoners no affiliated with a group.

The geographical distribution is:

-- Three prisoners from Hebron.

-- Eight prisoners from Nablus.

-- Four prisoners from Ramallah.

-- Three prisoners from Bethlehem.

-- A captive and her child from the Gaza Strip.

Egypt and Germany proposed the deal as a "confidence-building measure," the Israeli statement said.

Israel said it will continue to negotiate for Shalit's release but it expects the talks will be "long and arduous."

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