On Saturday evening, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) released 17 hostages, including 13 Israelis, who had been held for weeks in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army confirms that the group arrived in Israel.
The Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, announced that it handed over 13 Israeli hostages and four foreigners to the International Red Cross shortly before midnight. Originally there were 20 hostages.
Footage broadcast on Egyptian television showed the convoy carrying the hostages entering Egypt through the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip. Israel later reported that they had arrived in Israel. Egypt said that four Thai hostages who were not part of the deal were also released.
According to the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is mediating the prisoner exchange process, the thirteen Israeli hostages released include 8 children and 5 women. They include single children and families from Kibbutz Be’eri and a 21-year-old woman who was taken from a music festival on October 7.
In return, Israel released 39 Palestinian prisonersIsraeli prison authorities said. According to Hamas, the victims are six women and 33 young men under the age of 19.
Television footage showed prisoners being received in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem. The most famous of them is Israa Jaabis (38 years old), who was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2015 after detonating a gas cylinder in her car at a checkpoint. A police officer was injured.
On Friday, 24 hostages were freed from Gaza, including 13 Israelis. The truce between Hamas and Israel will last four days A total of 50 Israelis and 150 Palestinians must be released.
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