The number 1,027 was posted in the ticket's identity card number box. It is signed by the "Ministry of the Interior – Bureau of Passengers in Rafah", and includes the following statement: "Please be on time and arrive at the passengers' terminal at 7 am".
Shalit's "ticket" home as posted on a Hamas website
Meanwhile, Hamas Minister of Prisoner Affairs Atalla Abu-Alsabah said in an interview with al-Aqsa Television that in the framework of the Shalit deal, Israel has committed to refrain from flying over Gaza while 293 of the 477 released prisoners enter the Strip.
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Abu-Alsabah also promised a "surprise" at the central Gaza rally for the prisoners. He refused to elaborate.
The IDF has yet to respond to the Hamas minister's claim. As part of the preparations for the day of the swap, OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Tal Rousso declared that as of Monday the area of Ketziot Prison and the Nitzana, Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings will be a closed military zone. The decree forbids citizens who do no reside in the area to enter.
- For extensive coverage of the Shalit deal, click here
Palestinian sources told the Quds.net News Agency that the eight busses the prisoners will board have arrived at the Rafah crossing accompanied by the Red Cross. In the official welcoming ceremony in Rafah, no more than 200 participants will attend, including Hamas ministers, members of the legislative council and other important figures in Gaza. A limited number of media teams will be allowed to enter.
Families of Palestinian prisoners in Rafah (Photo: Reuters)
From the Rafah crossing, the released prisoners will head towards the central al-Katiba al-Hasra Square in Gaza City while passing through Salah a-Din Street, which will allow Gaza residents to amass on the side of the road.
Hamas will forbid the passage of vehicles in a 3 kilometer radius from the Rafah crossing. The central rally is expected to last an hour during which Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and released prisoner Yihya Alsanuar will address the crowds. Each prisoner will receive a shirt with the inscription "Loyalty to the freed".
A Hamas delegation headed by Khaled Mashaal and Mousa Abu-Marzouk is expected to arrive in Cairo on Monday to welcome the prisoners who are to be deported and bid farewell to them before they continue to the countries who agreed to take them in. The London-based daily al-Hayat said that the deported will travel to Qatar, Turkey and Syria.
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