Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved on Sunday afternoon details for the secure transfer of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for kidnapped tank gunner Gilad Schalit.

Barak met with IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, operational branch head Maj.-Gen. Ya'akov Ayash, head of the IDF personnel directorate, Maj.-Gen. Orna Barbibay, and other defense officials to discuss security preparations for the prisoner transfer, which is expected to occur on Tuesday.

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"Gilad Schalit will return to his country and family after he was held by Hamas for more than five years," Barak said, adding "His return will be done modestly to ensure [we do] all that is needed for the soldier and his family."


The Israel Police completed preparations earlier Sunday for assisting the Israel Prison Service (IPS) in its complex operation to transport security prisoners slated for release as part of the exchange deal with Hamas.

Police are escorting IPS convoys and securing them, while also safeguarding public order. "This is a complex and sensitive operation," Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino said at the end of an evaluation meeting.

The IPS began transferring Palestinian prisoners set to be released in the Gilad Schalit exchange deal to two prisons for processing on Sunday morning.

The 477 prisoners scheduled to be released in the first part of the deal, spread over 11 prisons around the country, will be consolidated into two prisons throughout the day: Ktziot Prison for male prisoners and Sharon Prison for female prisoners.

The first bus containing female prisoners departed from the Damon Prison in the Carmel and arrived at the Sharon Prison on Sunday morning. The bus was accompanied by riot police, and traffic was closed in both directions along segments of the route.

At the consolidation prisons, the prisoners will undergo medical examinations and identification procedures in preparation for their release.
Click for full JPost coverage of Gilad Schalit

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