Israel will release 550 members of Fatah as its second wave of freed prisoners in the Gilad Shalit agreement, according to an Egyptian diplomat’s discussions with AFP.
Fatah is current Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ political party and the largest faction in the Palestine Liberation Organization. The second group of prisoners will be released in two months.
The Egyptian diplomat told the news organization that Egypt had persuaded Israel to release "550 prisoners from Fatah who will be handed to (Abbas) after two months."
1,027 Palestinian prisoners will be released from Israeli custody in exchange for the return of Shalit, an Israeli soldier who has been held captive for the past five years. The first wave will include 450 prisoners, whose names will be released by the Israeli government Saturday night.
Egypt played a key role in the negotiations between Hamas and Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Egyptian Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the ruling military council, Thursday night, saying, “Your assistance warmed the hearts of every Israel citizen.”