Palestinian prisoner swap completed
Israel is preparing to free 550 Palestinian prisoners this weekend in the final part of a swap deal with Hamas for the Jewish soldier Gilad Shalit.
The country has largely excluded high-profile members of Fatah, the party led by the moderate Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, from the exchange. The latest tranche, selected solely by Israel, is understood to comprise mainly those who have served more than two-thirds of their sentences and who were jailed for committing minor security offences.
Israel freed 450 prisoners – many of them serving life sentences – in the first phase of the deal in mid-October. In exchange, it secured the immediate release of Sgt Shalit, who was abducted in a cross-border raid by Palestinian militants five years ago, and held in captivity in Gaza ever since.
It had initially been anticipated that Israel's right-wing government would use the opportunity to make a gesture to Mr Abbas by freeing prominent members of his party, but officials have made clear that the moderate Palestinian leadership would not be rewarded for pursuing its unilateral statehood bid at the United Nations.
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Budget 2015: George Osborne to axe subsidies for higher income earners in social housing
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...
£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...