In photos: Euphoria as Ramallah greets prisoners’ release

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(Photo: Allison Deger)

Early this morning 21 Palestinian prisoners released to the West Bank from Israeli prison arrived at the Muqataa, the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority, where they were greeted by thousands of on-lookers. Crowds began gathering around 9 p.m. when cars piled full of relatives and supporters rallied through the streets of Ramallah before heading to the government compound.

At the Muqataa,  an audio recording of a gun salute initiated hours of national songs played from speakers that lined the parking lot-turned-outdoor celebration hall. Family members held up framed pictures of their incarcerated relatives, bouncing and rejoicing.

Just after 1:30 in the morning Mahmoud Abbas and the prisoners appeared on stage where the president of the Palestinian Authority gave an address. Within minutes Abbas dashed off and the released prisoners were carried through the mass of people to their families where long embraces were exchanged. Mothers with sons, husbands with wives, and children with fathers.

Unlike other political gatherings in the West Bank, the release of prisoners brings crowds that are a cross-section of society. Every economic class and religious background is present, along with flags from rivaling parties mounted on the same posts.

(Photo: Allison Deger)
(Photo: Allison Deger)
(Photo: Allison Deger)
(Photo: Allison Deger)
(Photo: Allison Deger)
(Photo: Allison Deger)
(Photo: Allison Deger)
(Photo: Allison Deger)
(Photo: Allison Deger)
(Photo: Allison Deger)


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“… an audio recording of a gun salute ”

So sad for the oppressed and practically enslaved Palestinian people. Perhaps we should be grateful that Israel did not shut-off their electricity, which would have prevented them from playing the recorded gun salute.

Dancing in the street and celebrating the release of convicted murders… just like they did on 9/11. And its the Jews fault that there isn’t a peace deal?

I think Miriam and Shuki are right, those Palestinians are trouble no matter where they are. I suggest we send them back to Palestine.

The thing to keep in mind is not one single Palestinian prisoner has been provided fair trials that meet the requirements intl law and Israel’s treaty obligations demands. The convictions lack any legitimacy. All prisoners are detained unlawfully. Further, the Fourth Geneva Conviction makes it unlawful to detain the occupied population outside of the occupied territories. Most prisoners are held in Israel in explicit violation of The Fourth Geneva Convention.

Funny how certain news stories cause Allison to become ‘ objective’. No opinion. No history of who these prisoners are or what they’d done. No victims.