Palestinian prisoners on a bus before release [file] 311 (R).
(photo credit: Yannis Behrakis / Reuters)
The Prisons Service transferred 477 Palestinian prisoners set to be released in
the Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange deal to two prisons on Sunday, ahead of
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Throughout the day, convoys of bulletproof Prisons Service
buses, escorted by police, made their way from 11 prisons around the country,
ferrying male prisoners to the Ktziot facility in the South, from where they
will be dispersed to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and female prisoners to
the Sharon prison.
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The prisoners sent to Gaza will be transferred into
Egypt via the Kerem Shalom Crossing and will then cross into Gaza from
Forty of the prisoners will be transferred to Egypt, and will then
travel to different countries arranged for them by Hamas.
security was in place due to fears that opponents to the deal would attempt to
sabotage the transfer.
The first bus containing female prisoners departed
from the Damon Prison in the Carmel and arrived at the Sharon Prison on Sunday
morning. The bus was accompanied by riot police, and traffic was closed in both
directions along segments of the route. Similar scenes were repeated on Sunday
around the country.
Upon arrival, the prisoners were placed in a separate
ward from the general population, and underwent medical examinations and
identification procedures in preparation for their release.
Police completed preparations earlier Sunday ahead of its operation to assist in
the moving of the large number of terrorists.
“Police are escorting
Prisons Service convoys and securing them, while also safeguarding public
order,” Police Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino said at the end of an evaluation
“This is a complex and sensitive operation,” he added.