Prisoner exchange list handed to Israel

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Israel has received a list of prisoners Palestinian militants want freed in return for the release of a soldier taken hostage last year.

Corporal Gilad Shalit has been held by militants since gunmen attacked an Israeli outpost on the Gaza Strip border on June 25th 2006.

Palestinian information minister Mustafa al-Barghuti made the announcement that the list had been given to Israel by Egyptian mediators, but the Jewish state itself is yet to officially respond.

"The Egyptians have transmitted a list of names who must be freed," he told journalists at a press conference.

"Everything that has been demanded on the Palestinian side has been transmitted; the ball is now in the Israeli camp."

Speaking to the Associated Press news agency on the condition of anonymity, an Israeli official indicated that many of the Palestinian prisoners on the list are suspected of killing Israeli citizens or soldiers.

"We have received a list of several hundreds of Palestinians, including many with blood on their hands, who the Palestinians want to have," the unnamed official said.

Cpl Shalit's abduction led to an Israeli air strike campaign in Gaza, although the dispute was later overshadowed by the summer-long conflict with Hizbullah militants in Lebanon.

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