PA to provide housing for released prisoners


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Palestinian Authority will provide housing for the Palestinian prisoners released in the Shalit swap.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas made the announcement Saturday during a meeting with some of the ex-prisoners at his headquarters in Ramallah, according to reports.

Some 477 prisoners were released as part of the swap. Most of the prisoners returned to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Abbas and Hamas in the Gaza Strip had announced previously that they will give each prisoner a cash reward totaling several thousand dollars each.

Hamas also announced that 300 of the freed prisoners will be taken to participate in the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, paid for by Saudi Arabia, according to The Associated Press.

Eventually more than 1,000 Palestinians will be freed by Israel in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had spent more than five years in captivity before he was released 2 1/2 weeks ago.

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