Captors Name Detainees Sought in Swap for Israeli
RAMALLAH, West Bank, April 7 — After months of deadlock, the captors of an Israeli soldier handed over the names of Palestinian detainees they want freed in an exchange, a senior Palestinian official said Saturday.
Palestinian Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti did not say how many names were on the captors’ list, which he said was forwarded to Israel by Egyptian mediators. Barghouti said the next move was up to Israel and that he hoped the swap would be carried out quickly.
Israel declined formal comment, although Israeli news media, citing unidentified officials, reported that there had been some progress but that resolution was still not certain.
Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit was captured 10 months ago by Hamasallied fighters who tunneled under the Gaza-Israel border, attacked an army post in Israel and snatched the soldier.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said he is willing, in princi- ple, to release detainees. However, the swap has been held up by disagreement over who should be freed.
Also Saturday, an Israeli airstrike in Gaza killed one Palestinian fighter and wounded two. The Israeli military said it launched the strike after spotting the Palestinians trying to plant a bomb.