Israel discussing deal to free captured soldier

October 11, 2011 - 1:50 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli official says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has convened his Cabinet to approve a prisoner swap deal that would bring home a captured Israeli soldier held by Hamas militants.

The official says the Cabinet is meeting in the coming minutes to discuss "something serious."

He gave no further details, but Israel Radio said the deal would bring home Sgt. Gilad Schalit in early November in exchange for some 1,000 Palestinian militants held by Israel.

A senior Hamas officials in Cairo confirmed the deal. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

Schalit was captured in a cross-border raid in 2006 and taken to the Gaza Strip, and repeated attempts to reach a deal with Hamas have broken down.