PA President Mahmoud Abbas with released terrorist prisoners in Ramallah.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
Israel in the early hours of Wednesday completed the release of 26
long-serving Palestinian prisoners in the second part of a four stage
deal with the Palestinian Authority brokered at the start of the current
round of peace talks.
Twenty-one inmates convicted of killing
Israelis before the 1993 Oslo accords were released from Ofer Prison and
returned to Ramallah in the West Bank via the Beitunia checkpoint.
prisoners were freed to the Gaza Strip after they set out from the
prison earlier in the day to await their release at the Erez border
Some two-thousand Palestinians gathered late Tuesday
at Mukata, the PLO presidential compound, in Ramallah to celebrate the
release of the 21 prisoners to the West Bank, Israel Radio reported.
crowds waved flags baring the symbols of the PLO, Fatah and the Popular
Front for the Liberation of Palestine and carried signs with pictures
of the convicted murderers.
"Our heroes are coming home, long live the prisoners," they chanted in the predawn celebrations.
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