[Wednesday at Dawn October 29, 2013] Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, various officials and thousands of Palestinians welcomed 21 veteran Palestinian detainees, released from Israeli prisons, as part of diplomatic moves to ensure “continuation of direct talks”. Five Gaza Strip detainees were sent to the Erez Terminal.Media sources in Ramallah have reported that Abbas, and Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, personally welcomed the freed detainees, while thousands cheered and chanted for the liberation of Palestine and the release of all detainees held by Israel.
Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip also gathered at the Erez terminal, and welcomed the five freed Gaza strip detainees.
Leaders of Fateh and Hamas movements, along with leaders of different factions, social and religious figures, and thousands of residents, welcome the freed detainees in Gaza, and chanted for the liberation of all detainees.
Back in mid-August, Israel released the 26 veteran detainees, held since before Oslo; 14 of them are from Gaza and 12 from the West Bank.
Tel Aviv will be releasing more detainees on December 29, and on March 28 2014.
The release is part of an agreement, mediated by the United States, to ensure the resumption and continuation of peace talks that were halted for three years due to ongoing Israeli violations, including invasions, arrests, and ongoing settlement activities.
The agreement is meant to ensure the release of all 104 detainees held by Israel since before 1993 on four stages.