Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed on Tuesday to bring kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit home within the coming days.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of an urgent cabinet meeting over the prisoner-swap deal that free Schalit - which Hamas has approved - Netanyahu said he would stand true to his promise to bring Schalit home to his parents and grandparents.

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Netanyahu said that he was presenting the final prisoner-swap deal to the cabinet on Tuesday, following rigorous negotiations with the Palestinians.

"There was great tension between bringing Schalit home...and maintaining the security of Israeli citizens," Netanyahu said of the talks.


The prime minister convened a special cabinet meeting Tuesday evening to approve an Egyptian mediated deal for the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, government sources confirmed.

Netanyahu was quoted on TV news as saying "the window has been opened for an historic deal" to free Schalit, captured by Hamas terrorists tunneling under a border fence in June 2006.

In Gaza, a source involved in Egyptian-mediated talks between Israel and the Islamist group told Reuters agreement had been reached for a swap to take place possibly as soon as in the coming days.

The deal was signed by both sides in Cairo last Thursday.

Government sources said that in recent days there have been a number of high level meetings in the Prime Minister's Office dealing with Schalit. The Egyptian press has also reported in recent days visits by Israeli officials to Cairo.

The announcement came after last week, Palestinian and Egyptian sources denied an Al Hayat report which said that German mediator Gerhard Konrad was in Cairo for talks over a prisoner-swap deal.

Jpost.com staff and Reuters contributed to this report.


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