Rally in Gaza
Photo: EPA

Palestinians celebrate end of prisoners' hunger strike

Hundreds rally in West Bank and Gaza Strip to mark 'Palestinian prisoners' victory over Israel'

Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza Strip held celebratory rallies Monday, as news of the deal struck between the security prisoners and Israel became public.


The deal spelled the end of some 1,600 prisoners' hunger strike. It was brokered by Egyptian mediators.


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According to the Palestinians, Israel agreed to allow prisoners from both the West Bank and Gaza to receive family visits. The visits from Gaza were halted in 2006, following Gilad Shalit's abduction.  


Video: Reuters


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The Shin Bet said that in return the prisoners pledged "to absolutely stop terror activity from inside Israeli jails."


Hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets to celebrate the deal and "the Palestinian prisoners' victory over Israel."


Hebron Palestinian Prisoner Club manager Amjad Najjar lauded the prisoners' "unwavering stand" vis-à-vis Israel; and local Palestinian leaders praised the "newfound unity of Palestinian prisoners from different faction, which promoted their victory."


החגיגות בשטחים הפלסטיניים (צילום: AFP)

(Photo: AFP)


In the Strip, hundreds gathered in the Unknown Soldier Square, one of Gaza City's main squares, where a protest tent was erected as the hunger strike began.


The masses chanted "Allah Hu Akbar" (God is great) and held a prayer service. City officials urged "Palestinian of all factions to join in a march celebrating national unity"


Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas also welcomed the agreement, saying he was "proud of the popular campaign that gave the issue the importance it deserved."


He also thanked Egypt for its efforts in brokering the deal, noting that "This is the first step towards freeing all Palestinian prisoners."


Hamas Politburo Chief Khalid Marshal said that the deal was "just one more step towards resolving the issue of the Palestinian prisoners. Our biggest responsibility is guaranteeing your freedom.


"We have options, despite out difficult circumstances and our spirit is stronger that that of the Israeli enemy. We will defeat the occupation," he said.



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פרסום ראשון: 05.15.12, 08:06
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