Israel - A sensitive and difficult decision by Israel's Cabinet
Sergeant Gilad Schalit, 23, was abducted by Hamas militants 3 1/2 years ago. Until recently there was speculation on whether or not the Sergeant was alive. This mystery was resolved when Hamas leaders revealed that he was alive.
Hamas demands a prisoner exchange of 1000 prisoners for the release of Sergeant Gilad Schalit. This is a difficult decision that the Israeli government has dealt with.
Armed with the knowledge that past releases have resulted in the prisoners returning to the their communities, and subsequently returning to violence against Israel makes the decision even more difficult.
On one hand the government feels compelled to save Sergeant Schalit's life and on the other hand they have to weigh security of Israel. One of the options looked at was to release the prisoners possibly involved in this exchange to Gaza rather than the West Bank.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to have his cabinet vote on this issue today. This will be a very difficult vote for the members of the cabinet. Their vote will decide the fate of an Israeli soldier, a vote that could decide whether Schalit lives or dies.
Israel's prime minister will ask top ministers to decide Monday whether to approve a deal to exchange 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for an Israeli soldier who has been in captivity in the Gaza Strip for more than three years, security officials said.
Benjamin Netanyahu and six ministers met several times Sunday, continuing discussions late into the night.
With the group divided over the deal, Netanyahu could well bring the final decision to a vote in his full cabinet.
Sgt. Gilad Schalit, 23, was abducted by militants affiliated with Gaza's Hamas rulers 3½ years ago.