Palestinian militants fire two rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip; one explodes outside a preschool in the town of Sderot, causing damage to property but no injuries, and the second rocket exploded in an open area in the Sha'ar Hanegev region.
Israel and the Palestinian militant organization Hamas begin a major prisoner swap, in which the captured Israeli Army soldier Gilad Shalit is released by Hamas in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian and Israeli-Arab prisoners held in Israel. Among the prisoners released are 280 prisoners serving life sentences for planning and perpetrating terror attacks.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says that Hamas has agreed to deliver a letter from abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit to his family; Carter has mediated between the two sides in the past.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle calls on Hamas to free captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and urges Israel to end its embargo of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, but does not meet with the Gaza leadership because of group's refusal to renounce violence and recognize Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Israel had recently renewed contacts with a German mediator to negotiate the release of a captured Israeli soldier, Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit, who is being held incommunicado by Hamas.
United States Middle East envoy George J. Mitchell accuses Hamas of “unacceptable and inhuman behavior” with regard to captive soldier Gilad Shalit, held in isolation in Gaza for the last four years, and calls for his immediate release.
Thousands of Palestinians cross the Rafah Border Crossing into the Gaza Strip following its opening by Egypt, but Egypt prevents hundreds of activists from entering and Hamas continues to refuse Red Cross visits for captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.
Organizers of the aid flotilla refuse an offer of support by the family of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit if they would urge Hamas to allow the soldier to receive letters and food packages from his family and international organizations to visit him.
The United Nations tells Israel to end its blockade of Gaza, with Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes saying it is inappropriate for Israel to link this act to the imprisonment of a soldier.