Israel releases Palestinian prisoners; Gaza celebrations; WBank clashes

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SHOTLIST
++NIGHT SHOTS++
Rafah, Gaza Strip – 18 December 2011
1. Wide of buses carrying released Palestinian prisoners arriving through crossing area (after having crossed into Gaza), zoom in to prisoners waving from windows
2. Released Palestinian prisoners waving from bus windows, pull out to media
3. Bus with prisoners passing through gate
4. Released Palestinian prisoners walking next to band welcoming them
5. Various of Palestinian legislator Ahmad Bahar and other Palestinian officials welcoming released prisoners and giving them keffiyeh, Palestinian national scarf
6. Mid of released prisoners being greeted by Palestinian officials
Gaza City, Gaza Strip – 18 December 2011
7. Various of news conference with released prisoners seated next to podium
8. Establishing shot of Abu Obeida, Qassam Brigades (Hamas military wing) spokesman
9. SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Abu Obeida, Qassam Brigades (Hamas military wing) spokesman: ++FACE IS HIDDEN++
“We managed to get 20 percent of our prisoners released from Israeli jails in exchange for one soldier and who did that is able to do it again. This will not be the end, we will continue to work for our prisoners at all costs and at any price.”
Ofer Prison, West Bank – 18 December 2011
10. Exterior of Ofer prison, buses with Palestinian prisoners arriving after having been transferred from another prison
11. More of buses arriving at prison
12. Exterior of prison entrance
Beitunia, West Bank – 18 December 2011
13. Armoured vehicle passing by
14. Wide of Israeli troops, pan to tear gas rising
15. Masked Palestinian youth throwing stones
16. Injured person being taken away by paramedics
17. Palestinian youth throwing stones
18. Paramedics taking away injured person
19. Wide of Israeli troops firing water cannon
20. Wide of scene, pan left from ambulances, AUDIO: riot dispersal rounds being fired
21. People running from scene
22. Palestinian throwing stones
23. Israeli troops firing water cannon
STORYLINE
Israel released hundreds of Palestinian prisoners late on Sunday, the second and final phase of a swap with Gaza Hamas militants that brought home an Israeli soldier after five years in captivity.
Under the Egypt-brokered deal, Israel agreed to exchange a total of 1,027 prisoners for Sergeant 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 took place quietly under the cover of darkness, as most of the prisoners descended from buses and made their way into the West Bank and Gaza.
In Gaza, the released prisoners were welcomed by Palestinian legislator Ahmad Bahar and other Palestinian officials.
“We managed to get 20 percent of our prisoners released from Israeli jails in exchange for one soldier,” Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida said in Gaza.
He added that they were going to continue their efforts to get all prisoners released, “at all costs and at any price.”
Israeli prison officials said most of the freed prisoners were serving light sentences or near the end of their terms, and only 41 were returning to Gaza.
More than 500 were sent to the West Bank, which is ruled by Hamas’ rival, President Mahmoud Abbas, and most of them were believed to be linked to Abbas’ Fatah movement.
Israel is interested in bolstering Abbas at a time when Islamic groups like Hamas are gaining in power throughout the Middle East.
Hamas enjoyed a huge boost of popularity following the October release.
The military said one soldier was injured.
The Palestinians have been divided between two rival governments since Hamas expelled Abbas’ forces and seized control of Gaza in 2007.

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