Jubilation in Jerusalem and on the streets of Ramallah, as hundreds of relatives welcomed the return of the 26 Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli jails.
This was the third group of prisoners to be released as part of the US-brokered peace efforts in the Middle East. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, seen here, welcomed the move, but said a peace deal cannot be reached until all prisoners are released.
Israel has freed 26 Palestinian prisoners from its jails ahead of US Secretary of State John Kerry's arrival in the region. In all, Israel has freed 104 long-serving Palestinian prisoners.
The latest group of prisoners were jailed before the 1993 Oslo accords and had been serving sentences ranging from 19 to 28 years for killing Israeli soldiers and civilians. Among the released, 18 were from the West Bank, five from East Jerusalem and three from Gaza.
The US State Department praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the release. However, to ease domestic tensions, especially among the right-wing politicians, Netanyahu is set to unveil new settlement plans that include an additional 1,400 housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Written and presented by Alfred Joyner