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Palestinians Arrive In Turkey After Prisoner Swap Deal

A Palestinian detainee gestures from the window of a bus as it leaves a jail ahead of a prisoner swap on October 18.
Eleven Palestinians freed from Israeli jails in an Israeli-Palestinian prisoner exchange deal have arrived in Turkey.

Under the swap on October 18, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit returned home after five years of captivity in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, and Israel released hundreds of Palestinian prisoners to Gaza and the West Bank.

Some 40 of the freed Palestinians were to be sent to Turkey, Syria and Qatar.

On October 19, a private plane flew ten Palestinian men and one woman from Cairo to the Turkish capital Ankara where they were met by the Palestinian ambassador to Turkey and Turkish foreign ministry officials.

Turkey's once-close ties with Israel have deteriorated sharply since Israeli naval commandos killed nine Turks in May 2010 in a raid on a ship carrying aid to Gaza.

Turkey downgraded diplomatic ties with Israel after the Jewish state repeatedly refused to apologize for the raid.