Thirty-nine Palestinian teenagers and women were released from Israeli prisons on Saturday after the ceasefire agreement appeared to be in jeopardy.
The total number of Palestinians released since the start of the temporary ceasefire amounts to 78.
One of those freed, Mohammad dar-Darwish, 17, said he was “dizzy with happiness” to return home.
The exchange was delayed after Hamas accused Israel of changing the agreed list of prisoners it would release.
Hamas also said that not enough aid shipments had been granted access to Gaza as part of the deal. But the transfer took place after a last-minute mediation involving Qatar and Egypt.
Israel denied violating the terms of the agreement, which entered its third day on Sunday.
On Saturday night, a crowd of people, including some waving the green Hamas flag, greeted a bus carrying freed Palestinians as it passed through the West Bank, where detainees are initially being returned.
Six of them were women, while all the others were under 18 years old.
Among them was Mohammad dar-Darwish, who was held in an Israeli prison for seven months accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail at soldiers. He denies the charge.
He said he was “dizzy with happiness” when he returned home and found his father and brother in the crowd waiting to greet the detainees.
Speaking to the BBC, he claimed that Palestinian prisoners were mistreated after the October 7 attack. Israel’s prison service says it treats prisoners legally.
Israel has compiled a list of 300 Palestinian prisoners, mostly teenagers, who are eligible for release under the deal reached with Hamas.
Most are in prison awaiting trial, and less than a quarter of those on the list have been convicted.
Among the freed adult women was Israel Jaabiswho was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2015 when her car burst into flames 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) from a checkpoint in the West Bank.
Israel said it was an attempted car bombing and she was convicted, but Israa Jaabis, now 38, denied the allegation and her family has previously claimed that the fire started due to engine failure.
He suffered severe facial burns after the car’s engine caught fire, but requests for surgery were rejected by Israeli prison authorities.
After being released eight years into her sentence, she was photographed hugging her 15-year-old son Mua’tassim, who was eight years old at the time of his mother’s arrest.
Some of those released under the ceasefire agreement are prisoners who were still children when they were arrested.
marah baker She was sentenced to eight and a half years for attacking a border police officer with a knife when she was 16 years old.
After returning to her family in East Jerusalem, she said, “I’m excited, it’s a very good feeling,” and said she only learned of her release hours before it occurred.
Nourhan Awad23, served eight years of her 10-year sentence before being released Saturday.
She was convicted of a stabbing in Jerusalem and was shot by police during her arrest. Her cousin was shot and killed during her arrest.
She was filmed running to her family in Qalandia, West Bank, after her release, and said she would visit her cousin’s grave before returning home.
More detainees and hostages are scheduled to be released on Sunday as part of the agreement.