Hamas releases 17 captives, Israel frees 39 Palestinian prisoners
Israel has released 39 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for more than a dozen captives held by Hamas resistance movement in the third phase of the ceasefire deal agreed by both sides.
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The resistance movement said in a statement that it had handed over 13 Israeli captives in addition to three Thai nationals and one Russian to the Red Cross.
According to the statement, the Palestinian prisoners released by Israel were young people who had been arrested by the regime when they were children.
Reporting on the exchange process, the Palestinian Information Center said Israeli forces prevented people from gathering in front of the Ofer prison near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, from which the Palestinian prisoners were released. They also dispersed Palestinians in the town of Beitunia, which is also close to the prison.
The regime's forces fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians who had gathered close to the facility, wounding a number of them and a journalist.
Thousands of Palestinians received the liberated prisoners in Ramallah. They gathered in the center of the city carrying flags of the Hamas movement and chanting slogans in support of the Palestinian resistance.
In the occupied city of al-Quds, Israeli forces stormed the homes of liberated prisoners several times, beating the prisoners’ families and preventing media outlets from covering the moments of the prisoners’ release. They also prevented reception ceremonies for the released Palestinian prisoners.
Following the exchange, Mahmoud Mardawi, a senior Hamas official, said the resistance is ready to conclude a "comprehensive" swap agreement with the occupying regime, adding that the ball was now in the regime's court.