A group of 40 Palestinian detainees being exiled overseas under a deal to free a captured Israeli soldier will be sent to Turkey, Syria and Qatar, Hamas said on Monday.
“At the moment, the countries that will accept prisoners are Turkey, Qatar and Syria,” a Hamas official in Gaza told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“These countries, along with Egypt and Hamas will coordinate on the procedures under which the prisoners will be moved,” the official added.
Israel is due to release 1,027 prisoners in two stages in exchange for the freedom of captured solider Gilad Shalit, who was snatched by Gaza militants in June 2006.
The first stage of the exchange will occur on Tuesday, when Israel is to free 477 prisoners in exchange for Shalit’s return, with a second group of 550 Palestinians to be freed within two months.
Of the first group, 40 are expected to be exiled overseas, including 26 from the West Bank, 13 from east Jerusalem and one from Gaza.
Others released in the first stage will either return to their homes in the West Bank, Gaza, east Jerusalem and Israel, or they will be exiled to the Gaza Strip.