Israel Releases 26 Palestinian Prisoners

Policy aimed at restarting peace talks but hugely unpopular with Israeli public

  • Share
  • Read Later
Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters

Released Palestinian prisoner Hazem Shobair is welcomed by people upon arrival home at Khan Younis camp in the southern Gaza Strip Oct. 30, 2013.

Israel has freed another 26 Palestinian prisoners — the second of four groups released as part of a deal aimed to spur the resumption of peace talks, reports the BBC.

All those freed were convicted of murder and had been incarcerated for 19 to 28 years. Five were released in Gaza while 21 were sent to the West Bank; they were received as heroes in both locations with shots fired into the air.

Israeli and Palestinian officials resumed direct negotiations in Jerusalem in August after talks had stalled for three years, but the policy of releasing murderers has been hugely unpopular with the Israeli public.