US praises Schalit deal, says it was long overdue

White House press secretary says United States pleased with deal that will see return of captive solider.

Jay Carney 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Jay Carney 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The White House said on Wednesday that the United States was pleased that a deal to return Gilad Schalit from Hamas captivity has been reached.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the swap, of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return for Schalit, was long overdue.
RELATED:Hamas's Mashaal: Prisoner deal is 'national achievement'Barak: We've taken a great step in bringing Gilad home"We are pleased by the reports that Mr. Shalit will be home soon with his family," Carney said. "The president, as you know, has called many times for his release, and that his release is long overdue.
Details of the prisoner exchange deal passed by the cabinet emerged Tuesday night.
A total of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners will be released in the deal, in two stages.
In the first stage, 450 prisoners will be released, 280 of whom are serving life sentences.
Of those, Israel agreed to release 96 prisoners to the West Bank and 14 to east Jerusalem. Another 203 from the West Bank will be deported to Gaza and 40 will be sent abroad. Further, 131 prisoners from Gaza will be released back to Gaza.
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