RAMALLAH, 19 Oct (JMCC) - Israel
agreed today to exchange two high-profile prisoners, Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar said. From the Gaza Strip
, German mediator Gerhard Konrad produced a deal where Galid Shalit and Marwan Barghouti
would be traded, according to the Kuwaiti and Saudi Arabian news agencies.
Corporal Shalit has been held by Hamas for almost 28 months in Gaza after being captured in a cross-border raid. His parents have rallied supporters throughout Israel to secure his release.
A senior Fatah
official, Barghouthi was arrested 112 months ago in Ramallah
, convicted of murder and terrorism, and imprisoned. Both are icons in Israeli and Palestinian politics - thousands of supporters celebrated Shalit's 23rd birthday in Jerusalem
and Barghouti has been called the Palestinian Gandhi.