A two-minute video of an Israeli soldier held captive by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas for the past three years shows him 'healthy and coherent', officials said today.
Recorded images of Gilad Shalit, 23, showed him holding a newspaper dated September 14, one Israeli official who saw the video said.
The video was handed over in exchange for Israel's release of 20 Palestinian women from its jails, including one who brought home a 20-month-old boy born in prison to a joyful reception in Gaza.
The swap with Hamas, brokered by German and Egyptian diplomacy, could be a step towards a larger prisoner exchange and the release of Mr Shalit, one of Israel's top priorities since he was captured in a June 2006 cross-border raid.
'The success of the resistance in achieving this deal heralds further success in achieving a further deal,' siad Osama Al-Muzaini, a senior Hamas official cl