In exchange for the hostages, Israel has released 39 Palestinian prisoners: they are welcomed as "heroes ».
Steph Deschamps / November 28, 2023
A four-day humanitarian truce in Gaza came into effect on Friday morningfollowing an agreement between Israel and Hamas. The agreement provides for the release of a total of 50 hostages held by Hamas in exchange for 150 Palestinians detained in Israel, as well as the daily flow of aid into Gaza.
A total of 24 hostages (13 Israelis, ten Thais and one Filipino) were released by Hamas on Friday. In return, 39 Palestinian prisoners were released from Israeli jails, according to an NGO that defends Palestinian prisoners. This group includes 15 minors and 24 women, according to the list released by the Palestinian Authority.
On the Palestinian side, emotions ran high as families were reunited with their loved ones after a long separation. Most of the released detainees were serving prison sentences for stone-throwing or confrontations with the armed forces.
In the occupied West Bank, scenes of jubilation accompanied the return of Palestinian prisoners released by Israel, welcomed as "heroes", as in Beitunia or further north, in the Nablus refugee camp.
Under slogans, amid fireworks, Palestinian flags and the various movements, including the green flag of Hamas, the released prisoners embraced their families and wept in the arms of moved relatives.
In East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967, all celebrations have been banned. In her family home in the Beit Hanina neighborhood, Marah Bakir, 24 years old, eight of which were spent in prison for the attempted murder of an Israeli border guard, gives interview after interview. "I'm happy, but my release came at the price of martyrs' blood", she says, referring to the thousands of Palestinians killed in the bombardments on Gaza. "I spent the end of my childhood and adolescence in prison, far from my parents and their hugs, but that's how it is with a state that oppresses us and doesn't leave any of us alone," she adds.