The Libyan Jamahiriyah -- and sixty-six Palestinian former prisoners in Israel arrived to a ceremonial welcome in Tripoli on Wednesday. (14 March).
GV Palestinian and Libyan officials greeting released prisoners in Tripoli
SV Libyan Minister Major Abdel-Salam Jalloud (centre) with representatives of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
SV INTERIOR Ahmad Jibril PFLP leader speaking in Arabic
CU Jalloud speaking in Arabic
SV festival in progress celebrating release of prisoners flags carried and dancing
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Background: The Libyan Jamahiriyah -- and sixty-six Palestinian former prisoners in Israel arrived to a ceremonial welcome in Tripoli on Wednesday. (14 March). The Palestinians were released in exchange for the freedom on one Israeli soldier in an unprecedented operation organised by the International Red Cross in Geneva earlier the same day. Visnews correspondent Souheil Rached travelled with the Palestinians on the plane which took them from Geneva to Tripoli.
SYNOPSIS: The released prisoners including guerrilla fighters, civilians and six women, were met by Palestinian and Libyan officials on their arrival.
Major Abdel-Salam Jalloud, a senior member of the Libyan government was among those who greeted the released Palestinians. And the head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command, Ahmad Jibril, welcomed them.
His address was followed by one from Major Jalloud. The military-style exchange operation was carried out with security checks at each stage before the plane carrying the Palestinians took off from Geneva for it's final destination.
Students in Tripoli marched in the streets to celebrate the release of the prisoners. This is the first time the Red Cross has acted as an intermediary between the Israeli authorities and the PLFP.
And it's the first time the Red Cross has organised an Arab-Israeli prisoner exchange outside the Middle East.