Ma'an News Agency
November 30, 2009 - 1:00am

A German mediator arrived in Gaza City on Monday to deliver Israel's final response to Hamas' demands over an impending prisoner swap deal, the Dubai-based satellite network Al-Arabiyya reported.

Meanwhile, other Hamas sources ruled out the possibility that the movement would issue a response before sending a delegation of its own to Damascus to consult with leadership there.

Israel will release 980 Palestinians in exchange for a soldier captured in 2006, its State Attorney's Office said Sunday. The office said Hamas will select 450 names and Israel will choose the rest.

The announcement came after an activist group petitioned the country's Supreme Court against a swap deal.

In response, the State Attorney's Office disclosed, "As part of an agreement with Hamas, which would allow the return of soldier Gilad Shalit to Israel ... there is a possibility for the release in principle of about 450 prisoners whose names are being delivered by Hamas."

Some 530 Palestinians selected by Israel will also be released "[a]s a gesture to the Palestinian people" in a second stage of the deal, the office added. "The list of these prisoners has not been formed yet and no criteria have been set on this matter."


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