Israel's cabinet has handed its response to a proposed prisoner exchange deal with Hamas to a German mediator, following lengthy debate between ministers.
No details of the Israeli response, which could see hundreds of Palestinian prisoners swapped for an Israeli soldier held in the Gaza Strip, were immediately available on Tuesday.
Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier at the centre of the exchange, was captured in a cross-border raid by Palestinian fighters in June 2006 and has been held by Hamas ever since.
If you're a believer in Pavlov's theories, like me, then you can see that such an exchange will do more harm than good. In fact, I am of the opinion that Shalit was captured, in part at least, because the Israelis had agreed to similar exchanges in previous years.