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Israel is preparing to release 26 long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the second batch of 104 who are to be freed in line with commitments to US-brokered peace talks.
Here is a timeline of key prisoner exchanges between Israel and Palestinians:
- March 1974: 65 Palestinians are exchanged for two Israelis detained in Egypt for spying.
- March 14, 1979: Israel releases 76 Palestinian militants in return for an Israeli soldier taken prisoner in April 1978 in Lebanon.
- November 23, 1983: More than 4,600 Palestinians are freed by Israel to secure the release of six soldiers captured a year earlier by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in Lebanon.
- May 20, 1985: Israel frees 1,150 Palestinian detainees in return for three soldiers captured in 1982 by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
- October 1, 1997: Israel frees Hamas spiritual head Ahmed Yassin after eight years in captivity, as well as dozens of Palestinian and Jordanian political prisoners, in exchange for two of its Mossad secret agents.
- August 6, 2003: Israel frees 341 Palestinian detainees.
- January 29, 2004: In a German-mediated deal, Israel frees 400 Palestinians and 31 other people, including 23 Lebanese. Hezbollah hands over an Israeli reservist it has held for three years and the remains of three other soldiers.
- December 27, 2004: Israel frees 159 Palestinians.
- February 21, 2005: Israel frees 500 Palestinians.
- June 2, 2005: Israel frees 400 Palestinians.
- July 20, 2007: More than 250 Palestinians released.
- December 3, 2007: Israel frees 429 Palestinians.
- August 25, 2008: Israel frees 198 Palestinians, including two "with blood on their hands," convicted of deadly attacks. It is the first time such detainees are freed other than as part of an exchange.
- December 15, 2008: Israel frees 227 Palestinians.
- October 2, 2009: Twenty Palestinians freed in exchange for a video of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held since his June 2006 capture by Gaza militants.
- October 18, 2011: Israel and Hamas reach a landmark deal that results in the release of Shalit, along with 1,027 Palestinian detainees in two stages.
- August 13, 2013: Israel agrees to free 26 long-term Palestinian detainee, the first of 104 Palestinians to be released depending on progress in the talks. After three years of blockage peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians resumed in late July.
- October 29: Israel to release 26 long-serving Palestinian prisoners. All were convicted of killing Israelis, with most of the attacks occurring before the 1993 Oslo Accords.
Some 5,000 Palestinians are imprisoned in Israel.