Israel's cabinet has approved a prisoner swap with Hamas that will bring home a captured Israeli soldier in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
The cabinet approved the deal in a 26-3 vote, after a debate that lasted more than three hours.
Ahead of the vote, Israel's hardline foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said he would oppose the deal, arguing that freeing convicted militants would lead to new violence.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implored his cabinet to support the deal, saying it was the best Israel could hope for.
"This is a difficult decision, but leadership is tested at moments like this, on the ability to make difficult decisions," Netanyahu said in a statement.