GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Hamas official has provided some details about a prisoner swap deal that will free more than 1,000 Palestinians in exchange for an Israeli soldier held captive in Gaza for the past five years.
The official says that out of the 450 Palestinian prisoners to be released in the first phase, some 272 will be allowed to return to their homes in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and Israel.
The remaining 178 are likely to be deported to third countries or the Gaza Strip, if they are not from that territory.
The deportations will be a blow to the prisoners’ families, many of whom have waited decades to see their loved ones.
The Hamas official who provided the figures on Thursday spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release them.