Olmert extends Shalit deal deadline

Outgoing PM gives envoys more time to secure release of captured Israeli soldier.

    Olmert is seeking to secure Shalit's release as
    part of his political legacy [AFP]

    Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid by Palestinian fighters in June 2006.

    Olmert is in the final days of a three-year term marked by a 2006 Lebanon war that many Israelis see as a failure and a 22-day Gaza campaign that ended in January without achieving a complete halt to cross-border rocket fire.

    The outgoing prime minister has refused to agree to an Egyptian-proposed ceasefire with Hamas and opening the territory's border crossings more fully until Shalit is freed.

    Olmert is thought to be ready to release about 450 Palestinians in exchange for Shalit.

    Israel has carried out lopsided exchanges in the past, trading large numbers of Arab prisoners for its captured soldiers or their remains.

    Members of Olmert's outgoing administration have cautioned that Hamas may find the next Israeli government, currently being formed by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Likud leader, less willing to deal on prisoners.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.