Coming back home? A swap for the release of IDF captive Gilad Shalit has been finalized and awaits Israel's approval, Palestinian newspaper al-Manar reported Saturday.
According to the report, all details of the deal have been worked out and the parties are now waiting for the Netanyahu government to endorse the agreement.
The United States and Syria played a key role in finalizing the deal, the paper said, nothing that this involvement prompted both Israel and Hamas to show more flexible positions.
According to the newspaper, the first phase of the deal will see Shalit handed over to Egypt following the release of Palestinian prisoners to the West Bank and Gaza. Sources in the know are quoted as saying that Israeli officials have expressed great reservations over the heavy price to be paid by Jerusalem in exchange for Shalit. Hence, the sources said, both PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak wish to see a broad public campaign that would pave the way for the deal's approval.
Newspaper sources reported that Hamas' military commander, Ahmed al-Jabari, said the group has completed all the technical preparations ahead of the deal. Jabari added that he and other senior Hamas figures will be staying in Egypt for a few days as part of the efforts to complete the swap.
According to the report, an Israeli medical team is awaiting orders to head to al-Arish, in the Sinai, in order to examine Shalit.