Palestinian prisoners enter Gaza 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel completed the transfer of all 477 prisoners being released as part of the
Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange to Egypt and the West Bank on Tuesday after
confirming that Schalit is in good health and had entered Israel.
Some 400 wardens accompanied 10 convoys during the operation. No unusual incidents were recorded.
High Court decides not to intervene in Schalit swap
Schalit's release: The stage-by-stage
The majority of prisoners were being transferred to Gaza from Egypt,
while 40 prisoners were scheduled to be deported to foreign capitals
Witnesses reported seeing a first batch of prisoners entering Gaza from Egypt.
on Tuesday morning, Israel transferred hundreds of Palestinian
prisoners in heavily guarded convoys setting in motion the phased
The first convoy of prisoners arrived at Kerem
Shalom to be transferred to Egypt where authorities there monitored
their arrival in Gaza. All inmates that were scheduled to be released in
the West Bank arrived at the Ofer Prison near Ramallah.
deal reached between Israel and Hamas, Schalit was freed after five
years of captivity in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.
Its implementation took several hours.
The first vehicles that
left a jail in central Israel around 2:30 a.m. were carrying female
prisoners, most to be freed in the West Bank. They were accompanied by
security personnel from Egypt, who mediated the swap deal, an official
All border crossings were declared closed military zones in preparation for the transaction.
Monday night, the Prisons Service finalized preparations to bus the
prisoners in heavily-guarded convoys to release points in Rafah and the
West Bank. Over 1,000 police were monitoring the transaction.
receiving the military’s green light, the convoys headed out early on
Tuesday under guard by the Prison Service’s Nachson Unit.
Twenty-seven female prisoners held in the Sharon prison were sent to the Ofer
prison, from where they will be released to the West Bank.
male prisoners being held in the Ketziot facility in the South were
bused to the Ofer prison in the West Bank. Six male prisoners were
released to their homes in Israel. Three were released from the
Megido prison, two from the Ayalon prison, and one from the Katzrin jail
in the Golan.
The remainder of the male and female prisoners
boarded a southbound bus convoy to the Kerem Shalom border crossing,
where they were transferred to Egyptian custody.
A further 550 Palestinian prisoners of Israel's choice will be released in two months' time to complete the deal.