In what may prove to be the precursor for a full blown prisoner exchange for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit's freedom, the Israeli security cabinet today approved swapping 20 female Palestinian prisoners for a recently filmed video tape of Gilad Shalit.
Israel is scheduled to release the 20 prisoners, 19 of whom are from Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank), on October 2, 2009. The Israeli government will release the list of 20 prisoners on the internet, after which the Israeli public will have 48 hours to appeal the government's decision. None of the prisoners have "blood on their hands" per se, although several are indirectly responsible for murdering Israelis.
German, Egyptian and Israeli negotiators all played a part in securing this deal. The release of this video will prove to Israelis that Gilad is alive and in good condition; knowledge which will hopefully pave the way for his release from Hamas captivity. As with past Shalit news, I'll continue to keep you posted with the latest developments.
UPDATE: The list of 20 prisoners has been released to the Israeli public. As I mentioned earlier, no one on the list has blood on their hands, but not for lack of trying: I count 14 prisoners on the list who were charged with attempted murder.