I have been following the continuing story of Gilyad Shalit's potential release and this is what I can report.
Israel seems inclined to support a deal to release Shalit. However it appears to be seeking to expel most of the perceived dangerous terrorists – those who have killed Israeli's in the past and, from Israel's perspective, are likely to do so again if freed.
The crucial discussion convened by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu happened yesterday and went till after midnight. It appears that the time has come to finish the ordeal the young man has been in for the last 1276 days.
So at this point it is a conditional 'yes' to the release of hundreds of Palestinians on condition that Hamas agree to certain conditions. It is being reported in the media that Netanyahu is specifically demanding expulsion of prisoners to Gaza or abroad.
As for the Shalit family, last night they made the statement that there is a positive tone come from the exhaustive meetings.
But Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak said to camera today that Israel's priority is to bring Shalit “back by any proper course – but not at any price”. The Israeli public has been consistently polled to show that they are willing to pay any price to return the captive soldier.
As for Hamas, there have been conflicting statements, but one senior Hamas official was quoted as saying that they would not agree to the expulsion of prisoners. However
one of it's spokesman said that the group is interested in continuing the negotiations. Thus the German Mediator is currently in Gaza presenting Israel's position.
I'll have an update with the latest tomorrow on the Harvest Show – Join me!
Middle East Correspondent