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Middle East
Timeline: Past prisoner swaps
Deal to swap 1,027 Palestinian prisoners for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is eighth such agreement since 1982.
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2011 09:36

Israel and Hamas are conducting a prisoner swap deal which will eventually exchange 1,027 Palestinian prisoners for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Tuesday's agreement is probably the highest-profile deal between the two sides, owing to the intense media attention surrounding Shalit.

But Israel has agreed to at least seven other swaps over the past three decades, some of them larger than the latest exchange.

1983: In the largest ever deal, Israel exchanged more than 4,500 Palestinian prisoners for six Israeli soldiers who were held prisoner by the Palestine Liberation Organisation. Most of those prisoners were held in the Ansar prison camp, in southern Lebanon, which was closed following the exchange.

1984: Israel swapped 291 Syrian prisoners and the bodies of 72 others in exchange for six Israelis and five bodies.

May 1985: The so-called "Jibril Agreement" swapped 1,150 prisoners for three Israelis seized in Lebanon by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC). The deal took nearly a year to negotiate; it was nicknamed after the group's leader, Ahmed Jibril.

July 1985: 331 Lebanese Shias were freed from detention. They claimed their release was part of a deal in exchange for 39 foreigners seized on a TWA flight to Beirut; Israel denied that connection.

1996: An agreement between Israel and Hezbollah, mediated by Germany, swapped the bodies of 123 fighters in exchange for the remains of two Israeli soldiers.

2004: Israel released 436 prisoners, including Palestinians and other Arabs, in return for Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum and the remains of three soldiers killed in 2000. Tannenbaum admitted after his release that he had travelled to Lebanon in order to close a drug deal.

2008: Israel released Samir Kuntar, convicted of murdering four Israelis in 1979, and four Hezbollah fighters in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers seized during a cross-border raid.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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