Gilad Schalit was waiting to cross into Israel on Tuesday after pictures of him were broadcast on Egyptian television
David Meidan, who negotiated the soldier's release, was expected to cross into Egypt and take him through the Kerem Shalom crossing into Israel.
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The IDF was beginning to transfer the Palestinian prisoners
who will be released via the Kerem Shalom crossing to Gaza.
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told
Schalit's parents earlier that the procedure to release their son was going according to
plan and they would be able to see him "very shortly."
The prime minister said that Aviva and Noam, waiting at the IAF Tel Nof base in Rehovot, would be able to see a
picture of Gilad "within the next few minutes."
Egyptian military officials received Schalit from Hamas control on
the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing and updated the IDF command post
at the Kerem Shalom crossing of the transaction earlier on Tuesday morning.
a result, Israel transferred all the Palestinian prisoners to be
released to Gaza and the West Bank to Red Cross buses.
passing into Israel, Schalit will be guarded by soldiers of the Israel
Air Force's 669 unit, who will accompany him until he is home safe in
As part of a carefully orchestrated prisoner swap,
Israel was due to free 477 Palestinian prisoners during the day, with a
further 550 set for release at a later date.
the IDF finalized preparations for the swap and moved all of the
Palestinian prisoners slated for release to various points throughout
the country from where they will be transferred to Egypt, the Gaza
Strip, the West Bank and inside the country.
Schalit will cross into Israel and will be taken to a nearby base for a preliminary medical exam.
On Monday, OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo declared Israel’s
border crossings with Egypt and Gaza closed military zones ahead of the
After the medical exams, Schalit will be flown to the Tel Nof Air Force
Base where he will be reunited with his family after more than five
years in Hamas captivity.