The Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza has spoken to the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud Al Faisal, to provide an update on the prisoner swap deal struck with Israel. Ismail Haniyeh also briefed Prince Al-Faisal on the general situation in Palestine.
Hamas and the Israeli government came to an agreement this week on a swap deal for the release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,000 Palestinian men being held in Israeli jails and all of the women, making a total of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners gaining their freedom. Shalit was captured while he was on active duty for the Israeli Army in 2006.
During his phone conversation with Prince Al-Faisal, Mr Haniyeh expressed his hope that Saudi Arabia will honour the prisoners being released by making it possible for them to make the Hajj pilgrimage this year. In response, Al-Faisal congratulated the Prime Minister on the completion of the deal with the Israelis and promised to pass the Hajj request to King Abdullah Bin Abdel Aziz.