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Thu 13 Oct 2011 10:41 AM

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Gazans welcome deal for prisoner swap as 'national achievement'

Hamas, Israel agreed that 1,000 Palestinian prisoners will be swapped for an Israeli captive soldier

Gazans welcome deal for prisoner swap as 'national achievement'
Thousands of Gaza residents from all political factions rallied across the narrow coastal enclave to celebrate news of the deal, which Hamas officials said would include prisoners of the various militant groups (AFP/Getty Images)
Gazans welcome deal for prisoner swap as 'national achievement'
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired guns in the air and blared their car horns on Tuesday to celebrate a prisoner swap deal between Israel and the enclave's Islamist rulers, Hamas, which will exchange 1,000 Palestinians for Israeli captive Gilad Shalit (AFP/Getty Images)
Gazans welcome deal for prisoner swap as 'national achievement'
Members of the Ezzedine Al Qassam brigades, the military wing of Hamas, ride their vehicles as they carry their weapons celebrating a deal that will see Palestinian detainees freed in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on October 11, 2011, in the Jabalia refugee camp, in the Gaza Strip (AFP/Getty Images)
Gazans welcome deal for prisoner swap as 'national achievement'
Hailed by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in a speech from Damascus as a 'national achievement,' the prisoner swap was the best news Gaza has had for years (AFP/Getty Images)
Gazans welcome deal for prisoner swap as 'national achievement'
Israeli and Hamas leaders announced the signing of the Egyptian-brokered deal, clinched after many failed attempts in secret talks since Shalit was abducted by Hamas gunmen in the summer of 2006 (AFP/Getty Images)
Gazans welcome deal for prisoner swap as 'national achievement'
It is expected to begin in the coming days, and the names of those to be freed have yet to be published (AFP/Getty Images)
Gazans welcome deal for prisoner swap as 'national achievement'
Gunmen fired rifles and congratulations were issued from the loudspeakers of Gaza's many mosques (AFP/Getty Images)
Gazans welcome deal for prisoner swap as 'national achievement'
The family of Hassan Salame, watches a television broadcast featuring Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, celebrating a deal that will see Palestinian detainees freed in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Hassan Salame a Hamas leader imprisoned for life for attacks committed in Israel, holds a portrait of their son at their house in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip on October 11, 2011 (AFP/Getty Images)