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Israel-Hamas Prisoner Exchange: 39 Palestinians Released

In a recent event, Israeli prison authorities announced the early Sunday release of 39 Palestinian captives.

In a recent development, Israeli prison authorities announced the release of 39 Palestinian detainees early on Sunday. 

This move came after Hamas freed 13 hostages under an agreement that took effect on Friday.

The Details of the Exchange:

The 39 released Palestinian prisoners comprise exclusively women and individuals under the age of 19. In reciprocation, the hostages released by Hamas were all women and children. 

The bilateral agreement is set to span four days, facilitating the release of 50 Israelis and 150 Palestinians.

The exchange began on Saturday, with an initial swap on Friday, where Hamas released 13 Israelis—primarily women and children. 

In response, Israel freed 39 Palestinian detainees, also exclusively consisting of women and children.

Mixed Reactions and Celebrations:

While celebrations erupted in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, particularly in East Jerusalem, welcoming the released Palestinian prisoners, the atmosphere was subdued. Heavy Israeli police presence contributed to the muted celebrations.

Among the freed Palestinians, Israa Jaabis, 37, gained prominence. Convicted of detonating a gas cylinder at a checkpoint in 2015, injuring a police officer, Jaabis has been serving an 11-year sentence. 

Her release was met with armed Israeli security forces stationed outside her residence.

Expressing mixed emotions, Jaabis stated, “I’m ashamed to talk about rejoicing when the whole of Palestine is wounded,” during a press interaction in her living room alongside her 13-year-old son.

Ongoing Tensions and Arrests:

Despite the exchange, tensions persist. In the West Bank, crowds celebrated and thanked Hamas for its role in the agreement. 

Notably, Hamas controls parts of the West Bank, presenting a challenge to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Adding to the complexities, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club advocacy group reported that on the same day 39 Palestinians were released, 17 others were arrested.

The ongoing dynamics reflect the delicate balance and challenges in the region.

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