Middle East

Will Israel Barter for One Soldier?

With news that Israel could release 1,000 prisoners in exchange for the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Palestinian officials have reportedly come together to decide who they would like to be released. Hamas authorities tell The Times of London that a top priority is Marwan Barghouti, who was jailed by Israel in 2004 for murder. Barghouti is seen as a figure who might be able to reunite the various Palestinian factions which have split in recent years. Barhouti is currently serving five life sentences. Also on the list: a bomb maker named Abdullah al-Bargouti and former Hamas military commanders. Israeli officials have allegedly agreed to many of the prisoners on the list, most of who are in jail for minor offenses, but another source says reports of an imminent prisoner exchange were “premature.”