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Joy and sorrow among Palestinians at prisoner swap

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Joy and sorrow among Palestinians at prisoner swap


Not all Palestinians are rejoicing at the prisoner exchange.

In Ramallah in the West Bank, the families of some of the thousands of inmates who will remain in Israeli jails have been demonstrating.

Among those who are being freed is Irena Sarahna. Originally from Ukraine but married to a Palestinian, Irena and her husband received convictions in 2002 for helping a suicide bomber.

In Bethlehem’s Dheisheh refugee camp, her husband’s family cannot wait to see her.

“When I heard the news I felt like flying,” said her mother-in-law.

Irena is even more eagerly awaited by her daughter. Ghazaleh was a baby when her mother was jailed.

“I haven’t known my mother since I was eight months old,” she said. “Now I am a young girl and she will be freed and I am happy.”

The prisoners are due to be transferred to the West Bank as Shalit is released through the Rafah crossing from Gaza into Egypt and then handed over to Israeli authorities.

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