Report: Israel to release 20 female Palestinian prisoners

17:53, September 30, 2009      

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Israel is set to release 20 Palestinian women in its prisons in exchange for information on kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, local daily Ha'aretz reported on Wednesday.

The move marks a dramatic development concerning the fate of Shalit, who was taken away three years ago by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip and is believed to be hidden somewhere inside Gaza.

The Gaza-ruling Hamas movement asked Israel to release more than 1,000 Palestinians, including some specifically identified, from its prisons in exchange for the freedom of Shalit.

Yet gaps between the two sides have stalled negotiations on a possible swap deal.

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