The Israeli daily Haaretz news reported on Wednesday morning that Israel released five Palestinian prisoners as part of a swap deal with the Lebanese Hezbollah group that brought back the bodies of two Israeli soldiers in mid July.
The Israeli cabinet approved their release earlier this week, marking the final stage of the swap deal with Hezbollah. None of the released Palestinians were involved in deadly attacks against Israelis, Israeli officials said.
Last month, Israel released five Lebanese prisoners, including Lebanese resistance fighter Samir Qintar in exchange for the bodies of Israeli officers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who were abducted by Hezbollah in a cross-border attack in July 2006.
Israel's Prisons Service said the five prisoners left the prison in central Israel and made their way into the West Bank arriving midmorning in the town of Tulkarem. All five were teenagers serving short sentences for throwing stones and were due to be released next year, according to information published on the Israel Prisons Service Web site.