Release of Palestinian prisoners gets underway

Release of Palestinian prisoners gets underway

Israel released 26 Palestinian prisoners early Tuesday as part of five-month-old peace negotiations with a nine-month deadline, dpa reported.

At 2 am (00:00 GMT Tuesday), 18 inmates passed through a West Bank crossing into Palestinian-controlled Ramallah, from where they were driven to President Mahmoud Abbas' headquarters for an official welcome ceremony.

Three prisoners crossed into Gaza, and another five were released from a border police base in East Jerusalem, Israel Prison Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman told dpa.

Hundreds of relatives waited in Abbas' Muqata headquarters, singing, dancing and waving Palestinian flags. During two previous releases in August and October, celebrations were held in the courtyard, but due to bad weather, Tuesday's ceremony was held indoors.

Israel's supreme court late Monday rejected a petition against the release by relatives of the militants' victims.

The release is the third since Israel and the Palestinians revived peace negotiations for the first time in years.

Twenty-six prisoners were freed in August, 26 in October and a fourth group is scheduled to go free in March. In total 104 Palestinians jailed since before the 1993 Oslo interim accords are to be freed as part of an Israeli gesture agreed to kick-start negotiations.

Hundreds of Israelis, including relatives of victims of Palestinian attacks, earlier protested in Jerusalem amid a large police presence, chanting "No to the release of murderers!" and "Death to terrorists."

They held up portraits of people who were slain by the militants being freed.

Eliezer Amsalem, whose brother was killed in 1992 in Jerusalem by one of the militants going free, said he was disappointed in the Israeli government, telling Channel 2 television: "He will be free, while we continue to suffer? I don't understand."

Hamza Taqtouq, a cousin of one of the inmates, waited in Ramallah for the arrival of the 18 prisoners returning to the West Bank.

"We came all the way from Nablus to celebrate the release of Ibrahim," Taqtouq said. "He and all the prisoners are our heroes. They gave their life for their country. We are proud of them."

His cousin was serving life for killing an Israeli soldier in 1989 by throwing a block of concrete onto him from a rooftop, as Israeli troops were chasing stone-throwers in Nablus' Old City.

Most of the 26 inmates were convicted of killing Israeli civilians.

The United States saw the prisoner release as a "positive step forward" in ongoing peace negotiations, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Monday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was to hold meetings this week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss ongoing permanent status negotiations.

The negotiations are in crisis due to arguments about security measures in the Jordan Valley, along the eastern West Bank, and a call by right-wing Israelis to annex the valley and extend Israeli law over its settlements.

Palestinians are furious about an Israeli plan to announce the construction of more settler homes, but Netanyahu insists that a settlement freeze was not a precondition for the current talks.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
EAC states lose 92 pct tourism earnings due to COVID-19 pandemic
EAC states lose 92 pct tourism earnings due to COVID-19 pandemic
Minister makes forecast for recovery of Georgia's tourism sector
Minister makes forecast for recovery of Georgia's tourism sector
TBC Capital makes prediction for Georgia's tourism sector
TBC Capital makes prediction for Georgia's tourism sector
Loading Bars
Latest
Heads of Japan major parties to hold debate ahead of key election
Israel reports rise in cyberattack attempts against hospitals
Erdogan arrives in Angola in first leg of Africa tour
Facebook plans to hire 10,000 in EU to build 'metaverse'
At least one dead, several injured in shooting incident in U.S.
UK to fund new nuclear power station as part of net zero drive
Former U.S. president Clinton released from hospital
U.S. administers 408.3 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccines - CDC
French ambassador leaves Belarus - embassy
Google dedicates doodle to Azerbaijan's Restoration of Independence Day
Chronicles of Victory: President Aliyev announces that Azerbaijan's armed forces raise Azerbaijan's flag over ancient Khudaferin Bridge (VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 18, 2020
Georgian CEC calls on public to participate in October 30 municipal run-offs
Turkey expresses interest in expanding activities of Turkish companies in Kyrgyzstan
Helicopter crash kills three in Germany
As soon as possible, we will return to their native lands IDPs who lived in suffering for 30 years - Azerbaijani president
Heydar Aliyev did not allow holding of referendum on preservation of Soviet Union in Nakhchivan - President Aliyev
Celebrating October 18 solemnly or thanking someone for it is absolutely inappropriate, says Azerbaijani president
UK records more than 40,000 COVID cases for fifth day in a row
Cargo movements in Iran’s Qeshm port up
Amendments related to national holidays completely correspond to historical realities - Azerbaijani president
First VP of Azerbaijan makes Instagram post after meeting with heroes of Second Karabakh war (PHOTO)
Georgia faces fifth Covid-19 wave, observing recommendations much needed, NCDC Head says
UNHCR opens alternative route of aid to Afghanistan via Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan allocates funds for construction of Fuzuli Memorial Complex
Master plans of Zangilan, Gubadly, Kalbajar and Lachin being developed - Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijani economy grows by about 5%, non-oil economy by 20% over 9 months - President Aliyev
Large settlement will be created based on "smart village" concept in village of Dovletyarly - Azerbaijani president
We significantly brought closer day of IDPs return to their homelands - President Aliyev
Projects under implementation in Fuzuli show our determination and potential - Azerbaijani president
We will restore Fuzuli city, settlements of Fuzuli district - President Aliyev
Every person who visits Fuzuli becomes witness of Armenian vandalism and no one can deny this, says Azerbaijani president
This glorious victory will forever remain in history of Azerbaijan - President Ilham Aliyev
After liberation of Fuzuli, cases of desertion in Armenian army became even more widespread - President Aliyev
After Fuzuli was liberated it created more opportunities to move towards Shusha - President Aliyev
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva view conditions created at Fuzuli International Airport
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,896 more COVID-19 cases, 764 recoveries
Azerbaijani president, first lady meet with members of Fuzuli district's general public (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani president, first lady view conditions created in Fuzuli Central City Park, plant trees there
President Aliyev lays foundation for Digital Substation Management Center in Fuzuli
President Ilham Aliyev lays foundation stone for Fuzuli Memorial Complex, city of Fuzuli
Liberation of Fuzuli during war was very important - President Ilham Aliyev
October 17 will forever have special place in history - President Ilham Aliyev
President Aliyev lays foundation stones for Fuzuli-Aghdam highway and new “smart village” in Fuzuli (PHOTO)
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visit Fuzuli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Ukrainian MPs visit Ganja where cilivians died as result of missile attacks by Armenia (PHOTOS)
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for October 17
BSEC SG to visit Georgia today
Over 600 COVID-19 patients in Kazakhstan in critical condition
Energy Community highlights leading energy projects implemented in Georgia
First concert of Azerbaijan's trio under leadership Isfar Sarabsky takes place as part of European tour (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange soar
Graduation ceremony of Azerbaijani servicemen participating in courses held in Turkey
Heavy rains lash India's Kerala, red alert sounded in 5 districts
Share of households with internet access increases in Georgia
Seventeen U.S. missionaries and family kidnapped in Haiti
Iranian private investments in Tajikistan expected to grow
1,900 new COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
IRICA unveils data on exports of Iran to Belarus
Azerbaijan national team takes second place at Grand Slam judo tournament
8 killed, over 20 injured in traffic accident in Peru
1 deputy killed, 2 injured in "ambush shooting" in U.S. Texas
Israel's active COVID-19 cases below 20,000
At least 6 dead, 1 missing after ship sinks in Brazil
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry shares publication in connection with anniversary of Armenia's missile attack on Ganja
Information about firing of Azerbaijani army in direction of Arazdeyen does not reflect truth - Ministry of Defense
Sudan protest calls for military coup as political crisis deepens
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev addresses the nation on October 17, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 17, 2020
District Election Commissions to sum up protocols of municipal polls in Georgia
A working meeting of the delegations of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan takes place
Russian authorities say 18 dead in suspected alcohol poisoning in Yekaterinburg
UN chief welcomes unilateral cease-fire in CAR
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise
Work on increasing wages, pensions and benefits begins - Ministry of Finance of Azerbaijan
Official talks reasons for increase in gas prices in Azerbaijan
Post-conflict reconstruction projects launched by President Ilham Aliyev is unprecedented - Aide to President (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani IDEA signs agreement with All-Russian Society for Nature Conservation (PHOTO)
Saudi Arabia's PIF launches offshore platform tourism project
NATO Special Representative for Caucasus to visit Azerbaijan
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on October 17
Iran reaches grow in exports to Kyrgyzstan
World gas prices grow by 20-30 times compared to last year - SOCAR
Latvia to gift Georgia 83,070 doses of Pfizer jab
Earthquake hits southern Iran
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,681 more COVID-19 cases, 675 recoveries
South Caucasus countries need to coordinate to open communications - Pakistani diplomat
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signs decree on raising social payments
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for October 16
Uzbekistan to privatize public park in Tashkent
Muslims all together sympathetic with Azerbaijan - Palestinian ambassador
Iran's exports to Kazakhstan up
SOCAR Georgia Gas opens tender on pickup trucks through operating lease
Turkish president and German chancellor holding talks in Istanbul
Novak does not rule out recurrence of energy crisis in Europe, urges its prevention
Azerbaijani official talks victims of Armenian attacks on Tartar during Second Karabakh War
Centuries needed to revive nature of Azerbaijan's Karabakh - minister
Azerbaijan raises electricity and gas prices
All news