Israel today freed 19 Palestinian women prisoners after seeing a video offering a first glimpse of an Israeli soldier held by Gaza Strip militants for more than three years.
The women were released into the West Bank and Gaza after an Israeli negotiator agreed the video was authentic.
A government spokesman said the video was also sent to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
It was unclear what condition sergeant Gilad Schalit was in. His captivity has emerged as a key point of contention holding up the lifting of a bruising Israel-led blockade of Gaza.