Sixteen Palestinian prisoners arrived in Damascus on Wednesday after being released on Tuesday as part of a swap deal in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Muna said the joy of leaving prison was tempered by a future living in exile. “I lived seven years in prison and today is a happy day but not completely because we are away from our home and we left prisoners who are suffering from the detention. Sure it is my second home (Syria) but there is nothing such as the land you were born and grew up in,” Muna said.
Under the terms of the deal, around 40 of those who had been jailed for involvement in deadly attacks were being deported abroad. Turkey confirmed it would take in around 10, while others were destined for Syria and Qatar.
Hundreds of Palestinians crossed Israel’s borders on Tuesday as the thousand-for-one prisoner swap brought joy to families.
“The resistance is increasing and there are steps for the future. The resistance will continue until the victory, God willing,” said one of the released men, Nimer Darwaze, according to Maan news agency.
“We dedicate the best greetings to the martyrs who were the reason in capturing the soldier. We send our greetings to the negotiators who succeeded and earned a lot. This is a great accomplishment,” another former prisoner, Motassim Mawdidi said.
He said the conditions for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails were harsh. “The prisoners are suffering from the worst conditions in the occupation’s prisons. The occupation creates every day new ways to torture and humiliate the prisoners. But, thank God, the prisoners are strong and they will not give up.”
After the 477 freed on Tuesday, a further 550 Palestinians will be released soon.
16 Liberated Palestinian Prisoners Arrive in Damascus
DAMASCUS, (SANA)- Sixteen liberated Palestinian prisoners arrived on Wednesday in Damascus International Airport, on board a Syrian airplane.
The liberated prisoners deported to Syria include one Palestinian girl who had spent seven years in the Israeli jails.
477 prisoners were freed on Tuesday as part of a swap deal between the Israeli occupation government and the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.
The deal included the release of 1027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was held captive by Hamas in 2006. The other 550 will be released within two months.
Freed prisoner Nimr Ibrahim Drouzeh told SANA that the swap deal proves that the resistance will continue until achieving victory, adding that some of the freed prisoners were jailed for 30 years.
For his part, Rabee Salamah Za’al said that “I chose to come to Syria because it supports the resistance… When I’m in Syria, I feel my return to Palestine is near.”
Freed prisoner Ahmad Hanini, said “I’m proud to be in Syria because Syria is the throbbing heart of Arabism… Syria and Palestine are one country.”
Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Ahmed Jibril pointed out to the importance of this operation which proved the ability of the resistance to confront the Israeli occupation.
Jibril added that “The Israeli occupation understands only the concept of power and the negotiations with it never resulted in releasing any prisoner.”
He stressed the role of Syria in embracing the Palestinian resistance, highlighting that this operation wouldn’t have been accomplished without Syria.
Jamal Issa of Hamas Movement, said that Syria will embrace the prisoners because it is the basic supporter of the resistance, stressing that this swap deal proves that the Palestinian people support the resistance.
Member of the PFLP Political Bureau, Anwar Raja, said that “The number of the prisoners who came to Syria stresses that Damascus is the strategic bastion of the resistance despite the intentional crises plotted against it to undermine its national and pan-Arab stances.”
Member of the PFLP Political Bureau, Maher al- Taher, described the swap deal as a huge accomplishment, hoping that all the prisoners will be released from the Israeli jails.
“We came to Damascus Airport to welcome the freed prisoners in their country Syria, which have always embraced the resistance.” He concluded.
| A Turkish plane carrying 11 Palestinian prisoners, released as part of a deal that freed Israeli occupation soldier Gilad Shalit, landed at an Ankara airport Wednesday, a foreign ministry official said.
The plane landed at Esenboga airport in Ankara after bringing the 11 Palestinians, including one woman, from Cairo airport in Egypt, the official told AFP.
Television footage showed the freed inmates making victory signs as they were taken from the airport under tight security measures.
It was not immediately clear where the 11 Palestinian prisoners would stay and for how long. The Palestinian envoy said that would be decided by the Turkish government.
English BulletinRiver to Sea Uprooted Palestinian