Gilad Shalit is set to be freed in an historic swap deal which will see around 1,000 Palestinian prisoners released.
Shalit a French national and Israeli soldier was seized by Hamas in a cross border raid from Gaza in 2006. Repeated attempts to negotiate his release in a prisoner exchange deal had until now failed.
Israeli Primer Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed the deal had been reached and said Gilad Shalit would be back with his family “within days”. Its is understood the negotiations took place in Egypt led by a German mediator.
Details of the deal to release the Palestinians are still emerging. It is believed they will be freed in two stages with 450 in a direct swap for Shalit. The remaining 550 would be freed later.
It is claimed Marwane Barghouthi who is serving five life sentences for the murder of Israelis is also to be released.