Hamas Released 11 Hostages - Israel Released 33 Prisoners

World | November 28, 2023, Tuesday // 09:25
Bulgaria: Hamas Released 11 Hostages - Israel Released 33 Prisoners

Eleven hostages released today by Hamas are already in Israel, the Israeli army said late last night, as quoted by Reuters and BTA.

The freed hostages will be given medical examinations, after which they will be able to be reunited with their families.

Earlier, the Israeli military said eleven hostages had been handed over by Hamas to the Red Cross as part of a truce between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement.

According to Israeli media, the freed hostages are nine children and two women. This is the fourth group of hostages that Hamas has released since the beginning of the truce with Israel on Friday, DPA notes.

Israeli authorities later announced that they had released 33 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the captives.

Yesterday, Egyptian and Qatari officials, and later the White House and Hamas, confirmed that the four-day truce would be extended by two more days.

"An agreement has been reached to extend the humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip for two more days," a spokesman for the Qatari Foreign Ministry wrote on the X social network.

The terms remain unchanged. The agreement reached between Israel and Hamas last week allowed for the extension of the ceasefire in exchange for the release of an additional 10 prisoners per day, DPA recalled. The deal calls for the release of up to 100 hostages to be exchanged for up to 300 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons over a 10-day period. So far, 58 people held hostage by Hamas and 117 Palestinian prisoners have been released.

During its attack on October 7, Hamas took about 240 people who were in Israeli territory to the Gaza Strip.

According to Egypt's state intelligence, the extension of the ceasefire is intended to facilitate the daily release of another 10 hostages in exchange for 30 Palestinians each. In addition, medical aid, food and fuel will be delivered to the enclave.

Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy said 184 hostages were still being held in the Gaza Strip. Of these, 14 are foreigners, and 80 are Israelis with second citizenship.

The US said today that it believed that not all of the hostages were being held by Hamas, making their release difficult. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said other Islamist groups and individuals were believed to be holding several people, but did not give a specific number.

Washington expressed hope that the new deal to extend the temporary ceasefire by two days could pave the way for further extensions.

"We want to see the release of all the hostages, and this is the best way to achieve that," Kirby said. "We are grateful to have won two extra days to work on this here," he stressed. "Now, to extend the pause, Hamas has committed to release another 20 women and children over the next two days. We certainly hope to see the pause extended even further," Kirby added.

In New York, the UN Security Council will discuss the war in Gaza at least twice this week, and the first time will be today at Russia's request, DPA recalls. At the second meeting on Wednesday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will also speak.

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Tags: Hostages, Gaza, Palestinian, Hamas, Hostages

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