• 07:41
    All Palestinian prisoners on Red Cross buses awaiting Egyptian go-ahead for exchange (Haaretz)
  • 07:38
    Convoy of Israeli Arab prisoners on its way to IDF base near Jerusalem ahead of release (Haaretz)
  • 07:33
    Report: Shalit now held on Palestinian side of border by Egyptian officials (Al Jazeera)
  • 07:31
    Egypt reports Shalit now in Egyptian hands; Hamas denies exchange has taken place (Channel 2)
  • 07:19
    Reports from Egypt that Gilad Shalit en route to Kerem Shalom border crossing (Haaretz)
  • 07:16
    Female terrorist supposed to be deported abroad will instead be sent to Gaza (Israel Radio)
  • 06:44
    Israel starts handing over prisoners to Red Cross (Ch. 10)
  • 06:31
    Envoy of prisoners arrives at Kerem Shalom border crossing (Haaretz)
  • 05:44
    Clinton meets Malta PM, discuss situation in Libya (Reuters)
  • 05:17
    Egyptian officials arrive at Israeli prison, supervise prisoner release (Ch. 10)
  • 04:17
    Right-wing activists protesting swap outside prison arrested (Haaretz)
  • 03:04
    Israel begins releasing Palestinian prisoners to be freed in Shalit swap (Army Radio)
  • 02:49
    Syrian man accused of being spy says he was working for congressman (Reuters)
  • 01:38
    PM Office on Quartet peace talks: ‘to bad no direct talks will take place’ (Ch. 10)
  • 23:52
    Right-wing MKs Eldad and Ben-Ari to protest Shalit deal near Camp Ofer prison (Haaretz)

More Breaking News >

  • Published 05:57 18.10.11
  • Latest update 05:57 18.10.11

Gilad Shalit in Egyptian hands, prisoner exchange officially under way

Shalit family sets out for IAF base in central Israel where they will see Gilad for the first time in more than five years; Report: Female terrorist due to be deported abroad will be deported to the Gaza Strip instead.

By HaaretzTags: Shalit swapGilad Shalit

According to Egyptian reports quoted by Israel’s Channel 2 on Tuesday, Gilad Shalit has passed Gaza’s border into Egypt and is in the possession of Egyptian officials. Hamas denied the report.

What do you think about the Shalit prisoner swap? Head over to on Facebook and share your views

The Shalit family leaves their Mitzpe Hila home en route to reunion with Gilad , Oct. 18, 2011.

The Shalit family leaves their Mitzpe Hila home en route to reunion with Gilad , Oct. 18, 2011.Nir Kafri

The first stage of a prisoner exchange between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas was completed Tuesday morning, as part of a deal that will see the release of the Israel Defense Forces soldier after five years and four months in captivity in the Gaza Strip.

All 477 prisoners to go free in the first stage have been transfered to the two locations – one on the Gaza border and another in the West Bank – from where they will be handed over for transfer to Egypt and the West Bank. Gilad Shalit’s family was also heading for the Israel Air Force base at Tel Nof in the center of the country, where they will see him for the first time since his capture.

Also on Monday, Israel Radio reported that Amna Muna, the female terrorist who was supposed to be deproted abroad as part of the Shalit deal, will be deported to the Gaza Strip instead.

Israel is freeing a total of 1,027 Palestinian and Israeli Arab prisoners in return for the soldier, who has been held in Gaza since his abduction in June 2006. The first wave of prisoners was escorted under heavy security by IDF and Prison Service guards to the two locations before daybreak.

IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, captured by Hamas in 2006 IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, captured by Hamas in 2006.
Photo by: Archive

As dawn broke, the first convoy of 96 prisoners from Ketziot prison arrived at Ofer jail, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, and a short time later another convoy of 147 prisoners, also from Ketziot, arrived at the Kerem Shalom crossing, where they were to be delivered to Gaza via Egypt. The prisoners were to be taken off the buses and identified; at Kerem Shalom they were to be transfered to Egyptian authorities to be taken to Gaza and at Ofer they were to be handed over to Red Cross officials.

Under the terms of the deal between Israel and Hamas, some of those who are freed are not allowed to return to the Gaza Strip, and some will be deported to other countries.

Late Monday, the last legal obstacle to the release of Shalit was effectively removed after the High Court of Justice rejected petitions against the execution of the prisoner swap deal. The petitions were filed by families of terror victims who were killed in attacks planned, ordered and/or perpetrated by some of those freed in the deal.