Syria will be among the countries absorbing Palestinian prisoners released in the exchange deal for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, senior Hamas official Musa Abu Marzouk said in an interview published in the London-based, pan-Arab daily Al Hayat on Monday.

Abu Marzouk, deputy head of the Damascus-based Hamas “political bureau," said that Turkey and Qatar would also take in some of the forty total prisoners to be sent abroad as part of the deal.

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The Hamas official said that he would be arriving in Cairo on Monday, along with Hamas leader in Damascus, Khaled Mashaal, to meet the forty prisoners being deported, prior to their departure.

Abu Marzouk told Al Hayat that Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh would be welcoming prisoners being released to Gaza at the Rafah Crossing, while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would be greeting prisoners released to the West Bank.

The Hamas official said that he had hoped for the release of all the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. "Our bodies will be with those released, but our hearts will be with the prisoners remaining behind bars," Al Hayat quoted him as saying.

He added that both the Red Cross and and an Egyptian team would be supervising the transfer of prisoners from Egypt to their various destinations.

Click for full JPost coverage of Gilad Schalit