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Israelis begin releasing 26 Palestinian prisoners
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel has begun releasing 26 Palestinian prisoners, most held for deadly attacks, ahead of renewed Mideast negotiations.
The Israeli prison service said buses carrying the inmates left a jail in central Israel late Tuesday.
Celebrations are planned in the West Bank and Gaza where they are viewed as heroes. Their release is very painful for Israelis who view them as terrorists. Israel released them late at night to prevent a spectacle.
Israelis and Palestinians are to launch talks in Jerusalem on Wednesday, following a preparatory round two weeks ago in Washington. The prisoner release is part of an agreement to restart the talks after a five-year freeze.