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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 April 2007, 05:42 GMT 06:42 UK
Israel 'has Shalit exchange list'
Captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit
Israel says Shalit's release is needed before a return to talks
Militants holding an Israeli soldier captive have handed over a list of prisoners they want freed in exchange for him, a Palestinian official said.

Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti gave no details of the list. He said Egyptian mediators passed it to Israel.

There was no immediate formal response from the Israeli authorities.

Cpl Gilad Shalit, 20, was captured in June 2006 in a cross-border raid by Palestinian militants, sparking Israeli operations and air strikes in Gaza.

Correspondents say his safe return is seen as a precondition to progress in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

'Progress'

Israel's Channel 2 TV reported that the list included 1,000 names, among them high-profile Palestinian prisoners including jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti.

"The Egyptians have transmitted [to Israel] a list of names of Palestinian prisoners who must be freed," Mustafa Barghouti said.

"Everything that has been demanded on the Palestinian side has been transmitted; the ball is now in the Israeli camp."

Israeli cabinet minister Yitzhak Herzog told Army Radio that "a certain progress" was being made over terms for a release.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has offered to release some prisoners but negotiations have stalled over how many and whom.


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