A third batch of 39 Palestinian prisoners was freed on Sunday, as the exchange of captives for prisoners between Hamas and Israel continued for a third day under the four-day truce deal.
Under the deal, 13 Israeli captives were freed in the Palestinian territory, along with three Thais and a Russian-Israeli dual citizen.
Large crowds of Palestinians took to the streets in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, on Sunday night as they waited for Red Cross buses carrying the prisoners.
Some waved Palestinian flags, alongside the flags of the two main Palestinian political parties: Hamas and Fatah. Some youths climbed on top of a white bus mostly transporting young men but also carrying some released female prisoners.
“At first we did not believe it,” Shakir Mahajna told Al Jazeera while he waited with his family for his son Omar, who recently turned 18.
“The last time I visited him he was frustrated, he told me ‘Dad I want to leave’,” said Mahajna. His son was 16 when he was arrested and had had four months left in his sentence.
“After what happened in October, I was even more scared,” Nour Ara’ar, whose 17-year-old brother Zeid was arrested in July, told Al Jazeera.
“Everything was suspended because of the war,” she added. “The trial did not take place.”
“We are happy, but we are experiencing mixed feelings. Our joy is incomplete because of what is happening in Gaza,” she added.