The head of the Centre for Palestine Studies in Cairo has revealed that the Egyptian intelligence service is preparing to oversee the second phase of the prisoner exchange deal struck between Hamas and the Israeli government in October. The first phase saw 477 Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli jails in exchange for Sergeant Gilad Shalit. A further 550 prisoners are due to be released as part of the deal.
Ibrahim Aldrawi told Quds Press that a delegation from the Egyptian intelligence service will take custody of the Palestinians to be released on December 18 before sending them on to their homes in Gaza, the West Bank or inside Israel. Mr Aldrawi pointed out that the Egyptians seek to include a number of Hamas prisoners; the Islamic resistance Movement which sealed the deal with Israel has amended the names of those to be released so that they include members of all the Palestinian factions.