There is no doubt the return of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners to their homes and families in Gaza has been seen as a major victory for the Hamas leadership.
A sea of green flags – the colour of the Islamist party – was waved in celebration, long into the night.
Uncompromising talk on both sides has left few illusions for world leaders who urged Israel and the divided Palestinian factions to build on the long awaited bargain to reopen wider peace negotiations.
In Cairo where the Hamas’ Supreme leader had greeted some of the newly freed Palestinian detainees, Khaled Mashaal was triumphant.
“ I say let Netanyahu make efforts to explain to the Israeli public why he signed the deal. Let him say that Hamas has made concessions. The Israeli public know who made the concessions,” said the Hamas leader.
And if the prisoner swap also appears to have diminished secular Fatah, Mashaal has now made reconciliation gestures towards his rival President Mahmoud Abbas.
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