Sunday, 18 December 2011

Final phase of prisoner swap deal completed with release of 550 Palestinians


BEITUNIA, West Bank — Israel released hundreds of Palestinian prisoners late Sunday, the second and final phase of a swap with Gaza Hamas militants that brought home an Israeli soldier after five years.

Under the Egypt-brokered deal, Israel agreed to exchange a total of 1,027 prisoners for Sgt. Gilad Schalit, who was captured by Gaza militants in June 2006. Schalit returned home in October when Israel freed the first batch of 477 prisoners. Sunday's release of 550 prisoners completed the swap, the most lopsided in Israel's history.

The release Sunday night was not infused with the same drama as the first phase, since the most significant players in the trade had already been freed. more

Israeli navy detains Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast


GAZA, (PIC)-- Israeli navy gunboats intercepted a Palestinian fishing boat off the northwestern coast of Gaza city on Sunday and arrested two fishermen.

Sources in the fishermen syndicates told the PIC reporter that the Israeli navy elements took the Palestinian boat and two fishermen on board while fishing in regional waters.

Israeli navy patrols have recently intensified their chase of Palestinian fishermen despite working within the three nautical miles limit determined by this navy. more