Palestinian inmates greeted in east Jerusalem after release.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The second stage of the prisoner-exchange brokered with Hamas to release kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit was set to proceed at 8 p.m. Sunday.
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With the exception of two female prisoners, the 550 prisoners scheduled for release on Sunday do not include Hamas or Islamic Jihad members, and none of the prisoners on the list were directly involved in any attacks that resulted in death or injury. Four hundred of the prisoners on the list have served two-thirds of their sentences.
Most belong to Fatah. They were held for offenses as minor as stone-throwing or as serious as attempts to kill Israelis.
According to security forces' plan, the prisoners will pass through Red
Cross checkpoints during their release. Two prisoners were scheduled to
be transferred to Jordan via the Allenby Bridge, Army Radio reported on
Sunday morning. Two were expected to be sent to east Jerusalem, and 41
to Gaza through the Kerem Shalom checkpoint. The rest were set to be
taken to the West Bank through the Bitunia passing.
Exactly two months ago, the IDF transferred 477 prisoners
to Egypt and
the West Bank in the first stage in the Israel-Hamas prisoner exchange.