Timeline of the proposed prisoner exchange

October 14, 2011 00:57

Schalit will be taken by plane to an IDF base, while groups of Palestinian prisoners are transferred from the Ketziyot Prison.

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Palestinian prisoners on bus before release [file]

Palestinian prisoners on a bus before release [file] 311 (R). (photo credit: Yannis Behrakis / Reuters)

If there are no last-minute changes, Gilad Schalit will return to Israel next week, possibly as early as Tuesday.

On Saturday, David Meidan, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s mediator in the negotiations, will meet with senior Egyptian officials in Cairo to finalize the logistics of the prisoner swap.

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Schalit will be taken across Gaza’s southwestern border into Egyptian territory – likely via the Rafah crossing – where he will be met by Egyptian security officials and a small Israeli delegation, which will verify his identity and ensure he is healthy.

He will then be taken by plane to an IDF base, while groups of Palestinian prisoners are transferred from the Ketziyot Prison in the South – where they will have gathered the day before – to the Gaza Strip, Egypt and the West Bank.

Israel is expected to publish the list of the released Palestinian prisoners’ names on Sunday morning, in line with Israeli law which requires that the government provide citizens with 48 hours to petition the High Court of Justice against the deal.

At the IDF base, Schalit will meet his family and undergo more comprehensive medical exams. Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz met with the Schalit family on Thursday night to coordinate the release.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which has facilitated other prisoner swaps, has offered its services and is discussing this with Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

Before being released, the convicted Palestinian terrorists will sign a document pledging that they will not engage in terrorist activity in the future.

Israel has denied guaranteeing Hamas that it will not hunt down the released prisoners in the future.

“If they engage in terror they will pay a price,” one official said.

At the same time, the IDF is concerned that Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip will increase rocket attacks against Israel in the coming days as part of an effort to torpedo the deal.

On Wednesday, Gantz convened the General Staff to discuss the ramifications of the deal for the IDF, and instructed the regional commands to raise their level of alert ahead of the swap.

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