In Gaza, Palestinians Celebrate Shalit Prisoner Exchange Deal

Tens of thousands of celebrators hand out sweets, wave the green flags of the Islamist Hamas movement, and chant slogans in support of the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in the northern Gaza Strip late Tuesday, celebrating the news that after years of on-and-off German and Egyptian-mediated negotiations, Israel and Hamas had reached a prisoners' exchange deal.

They handed out sweets, waved the green flags of the radical Islamist Hamas movement ruling Gaza, and chanted slogans in support of the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing.

Palestinians protest in Gaza.AP

Most of them were in Jabaliya, a refugee camp north of Gaza City, the hometown of many Palestinian militants jailed in Israel.

In Jerusalem, the family of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held captive in Gaza for the past five years, could be seen waiting nervously and excitedly in the protest tent that has been their home for the past months, outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence.