Palestinians prepare for prisoner release

Palestinians erect decorative stages in Gaza and Ramallah to celebrate prisoner release as Israelis await return of captured soldier Gilad Schalit.

By REUTERS
October 16, 2011 20:51
1 minute read.
Palestinian prisoners on bus before release [file]

Palestinian prisoners on a bus before release [file] 311 (R). (photo credit: Yannis Behrakis / Reuters)

 
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In Gaza, the preparations are well underway.

As Palestinians await the release of hundreds of prisoners brokered in a swap deal between Israel and Hamas, there are frantic arrangements to set the scene.

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At this stadium in Gaza, men erect a huge stage to celebrate the release while more Hamas flags are put up all over the city.

Staff at this printer's shop are working overtime to meet demand for additional posters and banners.

And the happy mother of one prisoner due to be released arranges for renovations to his house.

She explains that the house was damaged during the war so she is renovating it for her son's return.

In the West Bank city of Ramallah the streetscape is dominated by posters of Palestinian prisoners.

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Israel released the names of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners on Sunday who will be set free in two phases in exchange for Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit, captured more than 5 years ago.

Schalit's family camped for the last two years in this tent in Jerusalem to help secure his release.

There were also preparations underway at his home in Mitzpe Hila in northern Israel, where the small community is anixously waiting his return.

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