An agreement to free an Israeli soldier, captured last June by Palestinian fighters, in exchange for Palestinians held in Israeli jails is almost complete, a spokesman for the ruling Hamas movement has said. "I think that an agreement is almost ripe and that Khaled Meshaal's visit to Cairo is concrete proof of that," Fawzi Barhum told AFP Friday.
"Israel has agreed to release (Palestinian) prisoners in exchange for the Israeli prisoner after having refused and having wanted (Corporal Gilad) Shalit's release without conditions," Barhum added.
He reiterated that Meshaal was set to go to Cairo "soon" to meet Egyptian officials with a view to an agreement on Shalit. "Khaled Meshaal will go to Cairo soon but so far no date has been fixed," said Barhum, denying Israeli reports that Meshaal would to go on Saturday.
"It's Khaled Meshaal who has the last word because he knows the case in detail," the spokesman said.