Israeli sources reported on Wednesday that the first stage of ceasefire
between Israel and fighters in Gaza, under Egyptian mediation, could
take place within the coming weeks, Israeli online daily Haaretz

Initial reports revealed that the dead will be implemented on three stages starting with the release of 400 detainees, including women, children, and sick detainees, and shortly after that the fighters will release the captured Israeli soldier, Gild Shalit, most likely through Egyptian mediators.

The second stage of the deal includes the release of another group of detainees, and the third stage will see the release of additional detainees, including leaders of Palestinian groups, and Palestinians who carried operations that led to the death of Israelis.

Recently, Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, hinted that he will agree to the release of detainees who carried operations that led to the death of Israelis.

So far, the identity and the number of leaders who will be release under the deal is unclear, and is considered one of the most arduous issues. Hamas demands the release of 400 detainees in the first stage, 500 in the second stage and the same number in the third.

Israeli sources reported that Israel will probably agree to release a total of 1000 detainees in the three stages.

The list of detainees the Hamas demands to be freed includes the names of Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi, and secretary general of the Popular front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Sa'adat.

Also, the list includes Sheikh Hasan Yousef, one of Hamas leaders, Jamal Abu Al Haija also a leader of Hamas, and Abbas Al Sayyid, who is believed to be the mastermind of  Netanya Park Hotel suicide bombing that led to the death of 29 Israelis, the Arabs48 news website reported.

Moreover, Israeli sources said that the list  of detainees does not include the abducted legislators and ministers of the Palestinian government.