December 18th, 2011
05:43 PM ET

Palestinians rejoice as Israel releases another 550 prisoners

Thousands of Palestinians celebrated the release Sunday night of 550 inmates from Israeli prisons, part of the second phase of the deal that won the freedom of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The revelry in the Mukataa compound in Ramallah - the long-timehome to the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat - ran late into the night. Tayeb Abdel Rahim, general-secretary in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' office, was among those officials greeting the line of freed prisoners, as they all paid their respects at Arafat's grave.

Hamas' armed wing, the Izzedine al Qassam Brigades, welcomed the news even as they, like Rahim and other Palestinian leaders, continued to push for the release of others in Israeli custody.

"It's a great accomplishment, but it's not the end," brigade spokesman Abu Obieda said Sunday night. "We will work toward liberating all our prisoners."

The Israel Defense Forces said in a news release Sunday night that the International Red Cross assisted in the release process, which it noted at 10:30 p.m. had been "completed."

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Leoni

    I would venture a guess that Israel holds that one prisoner's life worth the price of letting that many prisoners go...

    December 19, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. saywhat

    According to Human right groups like CARE2 , Human Rights Watch there are apprx 11'870 Palestinian detainees In Israeli prisons.
    Israeli sources like B"Tselem Human Rights Info Center puts the figure at 4'800 at the end of Nov. 2011.
    @ Tori
    you got your perspective quite topsy turvy. The state terrorism & terrorism abounds on the other side of the fence, man.
    That respected Jewish columnist/journalist Gordon Levy writing today in Ha'aretz put it aptly.
    Saying about the Jewish settlers terrorism & the recent attack by Jewish terrorists on an Israeli army camp Gordon Levy says" Rioting uprooting trees, vandalism, arson,destruction,dispossession, theft, rocks & axes against Palestinians hasn't been noticed. But just one rock to the head of an Israeli commander Lt.Col. Tzur Harpaz by these Jew terrorists has stirred up a storm in Israel"

    December 19, 2011 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    FBI Files break down international terrorism in this manner at
    Latinos: 42%
    Left Wing groups: 24%
    Muslims: 6%
    Communists: 5%
    Others: 16%

    December 19, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. saywhat

    Learning about them & working with great & courageous Jewish Orgs like JStreet & Jewish Voice for Peace and reading Uri Avnery, Noam Chomsky, Ilan Pappie, Seymour Hersh & other Jewish public intellectuals & academics, opens one's eyes to the truth and gets one a true perspective on the whiole I/P issue.

    December 19, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. a Palestinian

    Thank you, Israel, for forgiving these criminals for their heinous crimes and releasing them to their families.

    – The above statement looks surprising, doesn't it. That is because it is a fake. A Palestinian would never say that. They don't think that way. Too bad. –

    December 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TORI

    @Saywhat, I merely posed a question and a quote from my Dad.My perspective isn't "topsy turvy" as it was not even stated.

    December 19, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mike

    Welcome HOME!

    December 20, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
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