Israel Begins Freeing 26 Palestinian Prisoners
Israeli relatives of victims hold protests throughout the day
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 13, 2013 5:20 PM CDT
Palestinian relatives of Atif Shaat, celebrate while waiting for his release at the checkpoint at the entrance of Beit Hanoun between north of Gaza Strip and Israel, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013.   (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

(Newser) – Israel released 26 Palestinian inmates, including many convicted in grisly killings, on the eve of renewed Mideast negotiations, angering families of those slain by the prisoners, who were welcomed as heroes in the West Bank and Gaza. Buses carrying the inmates departed the Ayalon prison in central Israel late today, a nighttime release that was aimed at preventing the spectacle of prisoners flashing victory signs as has happened in the past. Relatives of the victims, many with their hands painted red to symbolize what they say is the blood on the hands of the inmates, held protests throughout the day.

Most of the prisoners were convicted of killings, including Israeli civilians, soldiers and suspected Palestinian collaborators, while others were involved in attempted murder or kidnapping. Celebrations erupted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where thousands of Palestinian well-wishers awaited the buses' arrival. The release was part of an agreement brokered by the US to get Israel and the Palestinians back to the table for peace talks that had been paralyzed since 2008. In all, 104 convicts are to be released in four batches. Israelis and Palestinians are to launch talks in Jerusalem tomorrow, but that may be complicated by Israel's approval of 1,200 new settlement homes.

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Aug 14, 2013 9:01 AM CDT
Those Israelis are such a kind and empathetic people. Freeing all of those palestinian prisoners, many who are murdering scum of the earth, just to be nice. Israel is such a great nation.
Aug 14, 2013 6:27 AM CDT April 8, 2007 Scandal: the welfare state of "Palestine" By Moshe Dann According to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) tens of billions of dollars (one-third from US taxpayers, the rest mostly from Canada and European countries) have been spent over the last 50 years providing "Palestinian refugees" and their descendents. An estimated half million people 60 years ago, that number is now over four million and increasing daily. UNRWA's purpose: to insure the "Palestinian Right of Return" - the destruction of Israel. No Arab country except Jordan -- where they constitute more than two-thirds of the population - accepts them as citizens. Saudi Arabia, for example, for example, recently passed a law allowing all foreigner workers in the country to apply for Saudi citizenship next year - except Palestinians..."
Aug 14, 2013 3:25 AM CDT
There's a reason why we're spending millions for decades on Israel. They're in a strategic "nuclear proximity" and Iran needs them out of the way.