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Last Updated: Monday, 21 February, 2005, 14:12 GMT
In pictures: Palestinians freed
Palestinian woman cries with joy as freed prisoners arrive at a checkpoint near Tulkarm
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Hundreds of Palestinians held in Israeli jails have been freed in the biggest such release in a decade.
Freed Palestinian prisoners leave Ketziot jail
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The first prisoners were released from Ketziot jail in southern Israel in the early morning.
A Palestinian prisoner waves as others are greeted as they are released at the Beitunia crossing near Ramallah
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They were bussed to various checkpoints where they were transferred to Palestinian Authority control.
Palestinian girl kisses the hand of a released prisoner at a checkpoint outside Tulkarm
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There were emotionally charged scenes as freed prisoners were reunited with their relatives.
Freed Palestinian prisoners hug their relatives
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It is the largest prisoner release by Israel in nearly a decade, although most of those freed had already served two-thirds of their sentences.
An Israeli man, who lost a relative in a Palestinian attack in Israel, demonstrated against  the prisoner releases
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A few Israelis, especially those who have lost relatives in Palestinian attacks, demonstrated outside Ofra detention centre against the releases.
Newly-freed Palestinian prisonners flash victory signs as they arrive in the West Bank village of Idna
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For Palestinians the release of detainees - and there are about 9,000 in Israeli jails - is a priority if the peace process is to succeed.



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