Middle East

Israel-Gaza hostages – latest: 24 captives including women and children released by Hamas

Red Cross convoy reaches Rafah crossing with released Hamas hostages

Israeli security officials said late on Friday they were reviewing a list of the potential next wave of hostages who could be released in the coming days.

Earlier on Friday, a total of 24 hostages were released from Gaza and transported through the Rafah crossing into Egypt after seven weeks in captivity.

The exchange is the beginning phase of an agreement expected to free upwards of 50 captives of Hamas.

The militant group released 13 Israeli women and children to the Red Cross Friday afternoon as Hamas and Israel maintained a temporary ceasefire, while 39 Palestinian women and teen boys have been released so far from Israeli detention in return.

Ten Thai nationals and one Filipino held hostage by Hamas were also released as part of a separate, Qatar-backed agreement.

The Israeli military warned civilians in Gaza that the “war is not over” and will continue.


List of hostages released by Israeli government

The Israeli government has published the names and ages of 13 individuals released from captivity in Hamas, with many from the Kibbutz Nir Oz.

A spokesperson said: “The Israeli government embraces our citizens returning home. The Israeli government is committed to the return of all abductees and missing persons. Our citizens underwent an initial medical examination and their families were informed by the appointed officials that they were back. In addition, 11 foreign citizens were released.

List of our citizens who returned to Israel:

Doron Katz-Asher (34 years old) Raz Asher (age 4) Aviv Asher (two years old)

Daniel Aloni (45 years old) Amelia Aloni (age 5)

Ruth Munder (age 78) Keren Munder (54 years old) Ohad Munder (age 9)

  • Adina Moshe (age 72)
  • Hana Katzir (age 76)
  • Margalit Mozes (age 77)
  • Hanna Perry (age 79)
  • Yaffe Adar (85 years old)

Holly Evans24 November 2023 17:22


What Palestinians did during first day of ceasefire

Palestinians in Gaza have spoken of their intense relief at a period of “calmness” that has brought areas “back to life” at the start of a four-day truce – the first respite in a ferocious seven-week bombardment that has killed more than 14,000 people and displaced more than one million.

People emerged from their homes to collect belongings, bury the dead, and locate missing family members. There were moments of levity among the carnage, with families visiting the beach to bathe in the ocean and children making the most of the sky being free of fighter jets.

Under a Qatari-brokered deal, a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas will be in place during the release of a total of 50 Israeli women and children, held hostage since 7 October when Hamas launched an attack inside Israel during which 1,200 people were killed. In tandem with the hostages being freed, 150 Palestinians jailed inside Israeli prisons will also be released.

For families in Gaza, the temporary pause marks the first moment of calm after Israel unleashed its heaviest-ever bombardment of the Hamas-run territory in response to the Hamas attack.

Sara, 21 a Palestinian student who has lost dozens of family members and friends in the bombing and has been displaced three times in war, said that her parents left on foot to try to work out the fate of relatives in another southern town that they had lost contact with.

Bel Trew has the full story.

Josh Marcus25 November 2023 02:12


Israeli police shut down celebrations over freed Palestinians with tear gas: report

As scores of Palestinians gathered near Israel’s Ofer Prison in the occupied West Bank, Israeli police reportedly tried to shut down demonstrations, firing tear gas to disperse jubilant crowds celebrating the release of 39 Palestinian prisoners, per The Associated Press.

“The army is trying to take this moment away from us but they can’t,” Mays Foqaha, a friend of the one of the newly released detainees, told the AP. ”This is our day of victory.”

Josh Marcus25 November 2023 01:10


WATCH: Extra aid trucks begin rolling into Gaza

In addition to hostages being released, a key part of the Israel-Hamas ceasefire will see additional humanitarian aid trucks reaching Gaza over the coming days.

COGAT, an Israeli agency that coordinates activities with the Palestinian Authority, shared footage of a reported 200 trucks entering the Palestinian territory on Friday.

Josh Marcus25 November 2023 00:50


Israeli intelligence reportedly ignored warnings of Hamas attack

Ever since 7 October, observers have been wondering how the Hamas militant group was able to mount a suprise attack into Israel, which boasts one of the most technologically advanced militaries in the world.

According to new reporting from Haaretz, Israeli security officials may have ignored internal warnings of a coming attack.

The country’s military intelligence was aware for over a year that Hamas may’ve been planning an attack, and two months before the suprise offensive, an officer warned that the assault was a possibility, according to the paper.

Josh Marcus25 November 2023 00:30


Israel has list of second wave of hostages to be freed: report

The Israeli government is reviewing a new list of potential hostages who may be released in the coming days, after 13 were freed from Hamas captivity on Friday as part of a ceasefire deal.

The list was given to Israeli intelligence and military services, the prime minister’s office told The New York Times.

Josh Marcus25 November 2023 00:08


Were any US hostages freed today?

“We don’t know when that will occur, but we’re gonna be expecting it to occur,” President Joe Biden said during remarks on Friday about the fate of the hostages. “We don’t know what the list of all the hostages are and when they’ll be released, but we know the numbers that are gonna be released. So it’s my hope and expectation that it’ll be soon.”

“We don’t know all of their conditions,” he added.

Three Americans, including two women and a four-year-old girl named Abigail Edan, are expected to be among the first 50 hostages held by Hamas to be released, the president continued.

More details in our full story.

Josh Marcus24 November 2023 23:40


Ceasefire will increase Gaza aid trucks, but not even ‘scratching the surface’ of need

The four-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas will temporarily allow an increased number of aid trucks to pass into Gaza, from roughly 45 per day to an estimated 200.

The shipments will include food, water, medical supplies, and fuel, but are not enough to remedy the “beyond catastrophic” situation in the besieged enclave, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society humanitarian group.

“This aid is not enough,” spokesperson Nebal Farsakh told CNN on Monday. “It’s not even stratching the surface of the need of over 2 million civilians who are lacking food and clean water.”

The 2.3m people of Gaza have been without steady access to electricity, fuel, and water for weeks, with most major hospitals suspending operations or becoming battlefields themselves.

About half of Gaza’s overall population are children.

Josh Marcus24 November 2023 23:21


No Americans among first hostages released by Hamas

Despite expectations that some US citizens might be released today, no Americans were among the first two-dozen Hamas hostages released from captivity on Friday.

In remarks on Friday morning, Joe Biden said he didn’t know when the estimated nine US citizens and a permanent resident would be freed from Hamas, but that he expects it soon.

Instead, the initial release included Israeli, Thai, and Filipino nationals taken in Hamas’s brutal 7 October surprise attack.

Here’s our reporting on the US families waiting to hear from their loved ones.

Josh Marcus24 November 2023 23:05


Husband of freed hostage says he will ‘not celebrate’ until all captives are home

Yoni Katz Asher, whose wife and two children were among the 13 Israeli hostages freed on Friday, described a feeling of immense relief.

“I am determined to help my family recover from the terrible trauma and loss we went through, for my daughters and my wife’s future,” he said in a statement released by the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum. “Difficult days are still ahead of me.”

He also called on the rest of Hamas’s hostages to be freed.

“I will not celebrate until the last of the hostages returns,” he added.

Mr Asher spoke with The Independent in the immediate aftermath of the 7 October attacks.

“I am speaking because I just want the world to take a good hard look at my family photos and realise that these two women and my two baby girls are now this moment being held by terrorists,” he said at the time.

“You cannot imagine what a parent could be thinking right now and what is going through my mind.”

More about his story here.

Josh Marcus24 November 2023 22:50


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