Palestinians Cheer as Violent Offenders Released

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israel released more than two dozen Palestinian terrorists overnight as a gesture to the Palestinian Authority, opening the way for the second round of talks to begin in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

Palestinians celebrated in the streets as they welcomed the 26 prisoners released from Israeli jails. They had been convicted of stabbing, hacking, clubbing. or shooting to death Israelis and Palestinian collaborators. Most had served at least 20 years.

More than half of the prisoners were released to the Gaza Strip -- some of them from Hamas.

Hamas is not involved in peace talks and still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.

Israelis across the board were angry over the release of terrorists. Some protested after the Supreme Court rejected a petition by the victims' families to delay the release.

"We came here to say enough is enough," Israeli activist Baruch Marzel said. "Every time they release terrorists and murderers, it brings more murderers."

This was just the first of several releases of 104 terrorists intended to help negotiations.

There is a complete media blackout regarding the Israeli-Palestinian talks, but expectations here are low that they'll lead to an agreement.

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