Hamas releases names of prisoners to be freed

Ma’an – 13 Oct 2011
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=429012

Hamas-affiliated website al-Aqsa posted a list of prisoners it said were due to be released in coming days as part of the prisoner swap with Israel.

Israel and Hamas reached an agreement Tuesday to release over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier held by Gaza militants since 2006.

A senior Palestinian official familiar with the deal told Ma’an on Wednesday that 450 prisoners would be released in “10 to 14 days,” and a further 550 detainees will be freed in two months. Israel will choose which prisoners to release in the second phase, the official said.

Some 203 prisoners from the West Bank will not return home: 40 will be exiled outside to other countries and the rest will be sent to Gaza, the official said.

Sources close to the negotiations told Ma’an on Thursday that the prisoners would be freed at the same time as Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and that prisoners who will be sent to the Gaza Strip will be released into Egypt, and will enter Gaza via the Rafah crossing.

The list published on al-Aqsa TV website includes prominent figures including Hamas leader Yehya al-Sinwar and the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jail Nael al-Barghouthi.

The eldest Palestinian detainee Sami Younis, 78, will also be released, the site said.

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