Hamas declares emergency in Gaza

Updated: 2011-10-18 09:55


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GAZA - Gaza Strip ruler the Hamas movement announced late Monday a state of emergency, hours before implementing a prisoner swap deal reached with Israel last week.

According to both Israel and Hamas, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been in captivity since June 2006, will be freed Tuesday morning for the release of 1,027 Palestinian and Arab prisoners.

The Hamas ministry of interior declared a state of emergency allover the Gaza Strip starting from Monday night until the end of a ceremony to welcome the freed prisoners on Tuesday afternoon.

The ministry said in a press statement emailed to reporters that it had finalized all the security arrangements and preparations "to receive our freed prisoners and guarantee their safe arrival."

The statement called on the prisoners' relatives and all the Palestinian people to joy and celebrate "without violating the law, where shooting in the air is totally prohibited."

The ministry has also chosen the route for buses carrying the prisoners from the Rafah crossing to Gaza City where a grand ceremony is expected to mark their arrival.