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UNICEF hails Israel's release of Palestinian child detainees


14:47, December 20, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Children' s Fund (UNICEF) on Monday welcomed the release of 55 Palestinian child detainees by Israel on Sunday as part of a prisoner swap deal struck two months ago, and said the UN agency looked forward to more advancements on this issue.

"We welcome this release of children by the Israeli authorities and we look forward to further progress on the issue of child detainees," said Jean Gough, UNICEF special representative in the occupied Palestinian territory.

This is the second round of prisoner releases, following the first exchange on Oct. 18, when Hamas released Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been held captive since June 2006, in exchange of 477 Palestinian prisoners, many of whom had been imprisoned for involvement in attacks on Israelis.

As part of the deal, Israel also agreed to release 550 prisoners within the following two months of the first exchange.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the prisoner exchange a "humanitarian breakthrough" and said he hoped it would have a far- reaching and positive impact on the stalled Middle East peace process.

According to a news release issued by the agency, a total of 161 Palestinians under the age of 18 had been detained by Israeli military authorities as of Dec. 1. The 55 children who were released are reported to be between the age of 14 and 17.

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Hammad Sethi at 2011-12-2192.40.254.*
We Muslims need to understand what the USA is doing and what it is achieving. We see USA talking about secularism, respect for human rights, democracy, and freedom; but at the same time USA supports the persecution of Muslims in Palestine, in Indian-held Kashmir and every other part of the world. We see USA attacking and persecuting Muslims around the world. Muslims need to understand a few things. USA only cares about the interests of the Catholic Church. Muslims are 27% of the world and have 23% of the land of the world. India and Israel are both small and insignificant countries and USA knows this. The fact is, that the USA is not really a friend of Israel or India; in fact USA is more an enemy of Islam, just like it is an enemy of Chinese world. By showing so much love for Jews and Hindu India, USA justifies its persecution of Muslims and contains the Muslim world for the Catholic Church. This illogical US attitude of belittling Muslims makes us Muslims feel let-down and puts us on a defensive, making Muslim world an easy prey for the Catholic Church and USA.

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