- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 11, 2011

JERUSALEM — Israel’s prime minister says a captured Israeli soldier held by Hamas militants will be home in the “coming days” after a prisoner exchange was agreed on.

Benjamin Netanyahu said late Tuesday that a deal with Hamas was initialed last Thursday and signed earlier Tuesday.

The deal would free hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including many convicted in deadly attacks on Israelis, in exchange for Sgt. Gilad Schalit.

Netanyahu said in a televised address that he understands the pain of Israeli families who have lost loved ones to Palestinian violence. But he said he got “the best deal we could get” given the turmoil in the region.

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