Israel, Hamas discuss prisoner exchange

June 22, 2008 at 1:35 AM

JERUSALEM, June 22 (UPI) -- Israel has refused to free 30 specific prisoners demanded by Hamas in exchange for a soldier kidnapped in Gaza, an Arab newspaper in London reported.

A-Sharq al-Awsat said Saturday that negotiations between Israel and Hamas are coming to a close, The Jerusalem Post reported. Israel has reportedly agreed to free 450 prisoners, 350 before Gabriel Shalit is released and 100 afterward.

Under the agreement, Shalit would be transferred from Gaza to Egypt once the initial group of Palestinians is free, with transfer to Israel coming after the last Israeli releases.

The inmates to be freed include the sick, women, the elderly and children. But they also include some prisoners Israel has classified as dangerous.

Israel reportedly continues to object to 30 names listed by Hamas.

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