The family of a captured Israeli soldier, due to be released in a landmark swap deal, have been meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres.
The meeting came after Israel’s Cabinet backed an agreement to exchange Sargeant Gilad Shalit, kidnapped by Hamas in a cross border raid from Gaza in 2006, for more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners.
“We’ve waited many years for this moment,” said Noam Shalit, Gilad’s father.
“Now we are anxiously waiting for the the moment when we’ll see Gilad with us,” he added.
Families of the Palestinian prisoners due to be released are also facing a difficult wait.
Some relatives are not celebrating just yet.
“I will not believe it until I see Hasan enter the house,” said the mother of one prisoner.
“Then I will believe it.”
In the West Bank, hundreds of Palestinians have been taking to the streets, adding their voices to calls for prisoners to be freed.
Meanwhile, Hamas officials say nearly all of their demands have been met.
They added that those holding Sergeant Shalit have told him that he is going to be freed shortly.