Israel Releases 550 Palestinian Prisoners

    Palestinians women wave yellow Fatah flags as they celebrate at Rafah crossing border for released Palestinian prisoners to cross into Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Sunday Dec.18, 2011. Israel was wrapping up preparations to release 550 Palestinian prisoners late Sunday, in the second and final phase of a swap with Hamas militants that brought home an Israeli soldier after five years in captivity. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

    Adel Hana / AP Photo

    Israel freed 550 inmates on Sunday—the second phase of the deal that freed Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The deal was signed in October between Israel and Hamas, which released Shalit in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails. In October, 477 prisoners were released as part of phase one of the deal. Palestinian brigade spokesman Abu Obieda said, “It’s a great accomplishment, but it’s not the end. We will work toward liberating all our prisoners.”

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