• Israel would release 443 of the 450 prisoners Hamas requested in exchange for captured soldier Gilad Shalit, according to an Egyptian newspaper. Among the seven it wouldn’t are Marwan Barghouti and several Hamas officials. [Ynet]
The Wall Street Journal has a nice update and introduction to the Shalit situation, and how it became the “cause célébre” it has. [WSJ]
• Have you ever heard of Nittel Nacht? The holiday still observed by some Orthodox Jews on Christmas Eve? [Slate]
• A site outside Jerusalem near the Tomb of David is a source of conflict between Israel and the Vatican, which says it is where the Holy Spirit first appeared, and wants it. Christmas will come this year without a deal. [LAT]
• A Vatican spokesperson pledged that controversial wartime Pope Pius XII would not be beatified at the same time as John Paul II, and offered a broader defense of Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to advance Pius’s sainthood. [JTA]