Israel releases 26 more Palestinian prisoners

palestinian prisoners  israelIsrael released 26 Palestinian prisoners early Tuesday, the third of four groups it promised to free as part of peace talks restarted during the summer.

Most of the prisoners were from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah faction and were serving long sentences for killing Israelis.

Of the 26 prisoners, five were from Jerusalem, three from the Gaza Strip and the remainder were from the West Bank. It was the first time Israel freed prisoners from Jerusalem under the current agreement.

Israel released the five Jerusalem prisoners at a checkpoint on the Mount of Olives where they were awaited by hundreds of family members, friends and officials carrying Palestinian flags and posters of the prisoners.

Right-wing Israelis who consider the prisoners terrorists staged a sit-in outside the Old City residence of one of the Jerusalem prisoners and attempted to break into the house, causing clashes with Palestinians. Police separated the two groups.

The three prisoners from Gaza were sent to the Erez crossing into the coastal strip, where hundreds of their relatives and friends waited for them.

The 18 prisoners from the West Bank included a seriously ill resident of the Hebron area who was not on the original list of 104 prisoners to be freed. Israel decided to release him because of his condition.

The West Bank prisoners were driven on buses out of the Ofer military camp and greeted by cheering family members and friends who waited in cold, damp weather. Dozens of cars followed the buses through Ramallah to the presidential headquarters, where Abbas and other officials greeted the prisoners, shaking hands with each and kissing them on the cheek.

Abbas described the event as “a happy day for all of us and for our heroic prisoners, who have come out today to freedom to live as free people, even though they were also free when in prison.”

Adnan Afandi of Bethlehem, one of the freed men, had served 21 years in prison. “I feel that we came out from the grave and into life once again,” he said.
The first group of 26 prisoners was released in mid-August, the eve of the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations after three years of stalemate. The second group of 26 was freed Oct. 30.

The final group is scheduled to be released in March.
LA Times

  • Hannibal

    The Israelis ran out of money to feed and house them… This is no gesture for peace. A gesture for peace is when two states are created side by side in a confederate system with Jerusalem being the capital for both countries… Palestinians and Israelis are like two kids who do not know how to share.

  • Hannibal

    The Israelis ran out of money to feed and house them… This is no gesture for peace. A gesture for peace is when two states are created side by side in a confederate system with Jerusalem being the capital for both countries… Palestinians and Israelis are like two kids who do not know how to share.

  • Btru2u

    Israel doesn’t want Assad to fall because they know if Islamist militants alligned with Al Qaeda take over Syria, it will make the Zionist state less secure. Assad is predictable and weak, they know he is trusted because he did not fired a single bullet to Golan Heights for 40 years.

    Article Headline – Hareetz Israeli Newspaper writes: “it also states that Israel fears of Assad’s downfall and that most Israeli’s(in Tel Aviv) pray from all of their hearts to their lord for the safety of the Syrian regime that has not fought Israel or threatened them since 1973.Israeli General states – Downfall of the Assad regime will open the gate of hell on us.Articles quotes Israeli official Amos Gilad: “The Downfall of Assad will means the end of Israel” – the aftermath of the downfall of Assad will be catastrophic for Israel. It will lead to the end of Israel and will result in the appearance of an Islamic empire in the Middle East…” – Israel Senior Defense Minister Amos Gilad

    • Guest

      True, but Hezbollah and Iran are still the biggest threats to Israel so that Israel has to find a way to keep them all weak and not to let them win even in Syria.

      • 5thDrawer

        Would be the end of Lebanon too.

  • Btru2u

    Israel doesn’t want Assad to fall because they know if Islamist militants alligned with Al Qaeda take over Syria, it will make the Zionist state less secure. Assad is predictable and weak, they know he is trusted because he did not fired a single bullet to Golan Heights for 40 years.

    Article Headline – Hareetz Israeli Newspaper writes: “it also states that Israel fears of Assad’s downfall and that most Israeli’s(in Tel Aviv) pray from all of their hearts to their lord for the safety of the Syrian regime that has not fought Israel or threatened them since 1973.Israeli General states – Downfall of the Assad regime will open the gate of hell on us.Articles quotes Israeli official Amos Gilad: “The Downfall of Assad will means the end of Israel” – the aftermath of the downfall of Assad will be catastrophic for Israel. It will lead to the end of Israel and will result in the appearance of an Islamic empire in the Middle East…” – Israel Senior Defense Minister Amos Gilad

    • Guest

      True, but Hezbollah and Iran are still the biggest threats to Israel so that Israel has to find a way to keep them all weak and not to let them win even in Syria.

      • 5thDrawer

        Would be the end of Lebanon too.