As Israel Releases Some Palestinians, Thousands More Arrested in West Bank

Palestinian prisoner Nofooth Hammad, 16, reunited with her family in their house in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem. (Photo: via Social Media)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

UPDATE: Israel has reportedly released 30 Palestinian children and three women in exchange for Israelis released by Hamas earlier in the evening.

The Israeli Prison administration began releasing Palestinian detainees on Tuesday morning, as part of a prisoner swap agreement with the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas.

By the time of writing this article, several Palestinian civilians were released from Israeli prisons, including Nofooth Hammad, 16.

The release of the Palestinians is part of the scheduled release of three Palestinian women and 30 children, in exchange for the release of 11 Israeli women and children by the Palestinian Resistance in Gaza. 

Today’s prisoner swap was supposed to be the last in a four-day truce between Hamas and Israel. Last-minute efforts by Qatar and other mediators, however, led to another two-day extension.

Israeli media said that Tel Aviv had agreed to release an additional 50 Palestinian detainees if Hamas continued to release Israelis held in Gaza. 

Earlier, the Qatari foreign ministry said that Hamas had already released 69 detainees while Israel has released 150 Palestinians, confirming that efforts are underway to achieve a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. 

Just before the confirmation regarding the extension of the ceasefire, Israel has said that it is waiting for Hamas to agree to more prisoner swaps. 

The fact that it was Israel, not Hamas, that pushed for an extension suggests that the Israeli government is keen on the truce.

The Israeli position today seemed to be a stark contradiction of recent statements by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he is ready to return to war and destroy Hamas immediately after the end of the truce. 

But as Israel releases some Palestinian prisoners, the Israeli military has accelerated its arrest of other Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem. 

According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, 260 Palestinians were arrested during the four-day truce. The new detainees were added to more than 3,000 who were arrested since October 7, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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