Continued from page 1

Sobhia Jundiya, a resident of the West Bank town of Bethlehem, traveled to Egypt with her husband to catch a brief glimpse of their son, Ibrahim, 28, who was being released after 10 years. He had been sentenced to multiple life terms for an attack that killed 12 and wounded 50.

“It’s better he be in Gaza. Even if I can’t see him, it’s better than prison in Israel,” she said. “I hope to see him for a few minutes,” she said, as she began crying. “This is the day I have been dreaming of for 10 years. I haven’t touched his hand in 10 years.”

In the end, the Jundiyas were unable to see their son because the prisoners’ convoy did not stop during its brief swing through Egypt. The couple will try to go to Gaza, but it’s difficult for West Bankers to obtain such a permit from Israel or Egypt.

Israel prevents most movement between the West Bank and Gaza.

In the West Bank, released prisoners also were given a hero’s welcome.

Fakhri Barghout, 57, was carried on the shoulders of one man and was surrounded by chanting relatives. Sentenced to life for killing an Israeli, he spent 34 years in prison, making him one of the longest-serving inmates.

“There will be no happiness as long as our brothers still in jail,” he said. “I can’t feel good when I’m leaving my brothers behind.”

He leaves behind a son, Shadi, who is serving a 27-year sentence for involvement in an armed group and at one point shared his father’s cell.

Earlier Tuesday, hundreds of relatives of prisoners waited at a West Bank checkpoint for a first glimpse at their loved ones. However, the buses carrying the prisoners instead were driven directly to Mr. Abbas‘ headquarters in the West Bank.

Clashes erupted between about 200 young Palestinians at the checkpoint and Israeli soldiers several hundred yards away after the families were told they had waited in the wrong place. Israeli troops fired tear gas, and Palestinians threw stones for about a half-hour. Some of the young men climbed atop a separation fence near the checkpoint and draped it with flags of Hamas and Mr. AbbasFatah movement.

Mohammed Daragmeh reported from Ramallah, West Bank. Associated Press writer Aya Batrawy contributed from Rafah, Egypt.