Israel Will Free 1,000 Palestinian Prisoners In Exchange For Gilad Shalit

Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, tonight confirmed he was prepared to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, but drew the line at paying "any price" for the soldier's freedom. In a live broadcast, clearly in response to pressure brought by a 12-day march across the country by the soldier's supporters, Netanyahu spoke emotionally about the Shalits' ordeal but insisted he bore responsibility for the nation's interests. "I look into the pained eyes of Shalit's family and feel the pain with them," the prime minister said. "The call to pay any price is a natural cry from the hearts of his fathers, mothers, grandparents, brothers and sisters. As a brother, as a father, as a son, I understand this cry from the depths of my heart. But before me I see the security of all the state's citizens. "The state of Israel is willing to pay a heavy price for the release of Shalit, but it cannot say 'at any price.' "