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Israel's PM Proposes Prisoner Exchange


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is prepared to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for a captured Israeli soldier as long as certain conditions are met.

In a live address Thursday, Mr. Netanyahu said "dangerous terrorists" could not return to the West Bank. He said the prisoners could go to Tunisia or the Gaza Strip but not to locations where they could "continue to harm" Israelis.

He said his second condition is that the most dangerous prisoners would not be freed.

The prime minister commented less than a week after the family of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit marked the fourth year of his captivity. Hamas militants captured Shalit near the Gaza border in 2006.

Shalit's family began a 12-day walk to Jerusalem last week to pressure the government to take steps to free him. On Thursday, several thousand supporters joined the family.

Netanyahu said Israel is ready to pay a "heavy price" to free Shalit, but not "any price."

The Israeli Ynetnews website quotes Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan as dismissing the prime minister's speech as "nothing new."

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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