Thirty-three Palestinian women and children have been released from Israeli jails following the freeing of 11 Israeli hostages from Gaza, various media outlets have reported.
Reuters cited Hamas-affiliated as reporting that 30 children and three women were released. AFP said the Israeli prison authority had confirmed the release of 33 prisoners without saying how many were children and how many women.
The Hamas-affiliated Quds News Network posted footage on X, formerly known as Twitter, showing Palestinians in the West Bank cheering and clapping as a bus carrying freed prisoners drove through a street.
A survey out of Princeton has been published looking at how Palestinians in Gaza felt about Hamas. Agence France-Presse reports that the survey showed many were hostile to Hamas before the group’s attack in Israel on 7 October
“We find in our surveys that 67% of Palestinians in Gaza had little or no trust in Hamas in that period right before the attacks,” said Amaney Jamal, dean of Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs.
“This is especially important because of the (erroneous) argument that all of Gaza supports Hamas, and therefore all of Gaza should be held accountable for the actions, atrocious actions of Hamas.”
Jamal is one of the driving forces behind the Arab Barometer which conducts surveys and polling in the region, including in Gaza where fieldwork concluded on the eve of the attacks on Israel.
She said that Hamas, which won elections in the Palestinian territories in 2006 and is designated a “terrorist” organisation by Washington and the EU, was seen as “corrupt” and “authoritarian” by many respondents.
“Seventy-five per cent said in the previous 30 days, they could not afford to feed their households. So again, this is an impoverished society, a society that is basically saying the Hamas-led government has some levels of corruption,” said Jamal.
“When we ask people, who do you blame? … we thought that the number-one culprit was going to be Israel because of the blockade. But most people cited Hamas corruption, more so than they cited the Israel blockade.”
One of the Palestinian children released from an Israeli prison has told Al Jazeera he was beaten by Israeli guards last week and his hand and finger were broken.
Mohammed Nazzal, a teenager originally from Jenin, said he was given no treatment in the prison in the Negev desert despite his injuries and had only had his arm put in a sling after he was released, by the Red Cross.
“They gave me nothing,” he said, referring to the Israelis. “I broke my hand, I can’t move my finger.”
His mother, who stood next to him as he was interviewed, said she had had no idea of what was happening to him.
“There were no calls, no visits, nothing,” she said.
Ahed Tamimi, who rose to global prominence after a video of her slapping an Israeli soldier went viral in 2017, is on a list of Palestinian prisoners who could be freed in exchange for Israeli hostages, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has reported.
Tamimi spent eight months in prison for the 2017 assault.
The now 22-year-old was arrested again on 6 November when the Israeli military raided her home in the occupied West Bank, accusing her of inciting violence and calling for terrorist activity in an Instagram post.
Her family has denied that she wrote the post, saying she is frequently hacked online.
While Haaretz reported that she was on the list of 50 detainees and prisoners Israel is willing to exchange for Israeli hostages held by Hamas, the New York Times reported at the same time that Israel had moved to incarcerate her under administrative detention.
Citing her lawyer, Mahmoud Hassan, the Times reported that she now faces indefinite imprisonment, without charges or trial, based on evidence that neither she nor her lawyer are allowed to see.
“I’m hopeless to defend her,” Hassan said.
More images have come through on the wires of the latest batch of Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli prisons, including of one former prisoner who apparently fainted.
Nofuz Hammad, the youngest female Palestinian held in Israeli custody, was among the latest batch of prisoners released, Al Jazeera has reported.
As Bethan McKernan and Sufian Taha reported for the Guardian earlier, the 16-year-old was on the list of imprisoned women and children to be released on Saturday, the second day of the agreed four-day truce, but she didn’t appear when her father went to pick her up.
Nofuz was arrested in 2021, aged 14, for stabbing an Israeli woman, a settler, who suffered minor injuries. The girl was sentenced to 12 years, with three suspended, and fined 50,000 shekels (£10,700) in damages.
Her father believes her heavy sentence was to punish the family, one of six in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem who face eviction orders from their homes after claims from Israeli settlers that they own the land. The dispute helped spark an 11-day war between Hamas and Israel in May 2021.
Here’s an excerpt from Bethan and Sufian’s report:
Only one member of each family was allowed to go to collect the detainees, some of whom, including Nofuz, were supposed to be released at the notorious West Jerusalem detention and interrogation facility known as the Russian Compound.
Her father, Jad, 47, used his Jerusalem ID card – the retractable Israeli residency permits given to people of Palestinian ethnicity living in the annexed eastern half of the city – to travel to the Russian Compound, where he waited for hours in the cold. But around midnight, as other sons and daughters came out of the building and ran into the arms of their parents, Nofuz was nowhere to be seen.
Read on here:
Leftwing activists including the actor Cynthia Nixon, famous for her role in Sex and the City, have begun a hunger strike outside the White House aimed at pressing Joe Biden into demanding a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.
The five-day fast was launched to coincide with what had been the scheduled end of a four-day truce in Israel’s military offensive into the Palestinian coastal territory, during which the Palestinian group Hamas released dozens of hostages.
Israel has also released several batches of Palestinian prisoners, most of them women and minors. The truce was later extended by a further two days following mediation from Egypt and Qatar.
In a news conference in front of the White House, speaker after speaker representing a range of pro-Palestinian and progressive causes lined up to denounce the US president and his senior officials.
They lambasted the Biden administration for enabling a bombardment and ground invasion that has killed nearly 15,000 people, including more than 6,000 children, according to Gaza’s health ministry.
Here’s a bit more from the Associated Press on US secretary of state Antony Blinken, who is scheduled to travel to the Middle East again this week, his third visit since the Israel-Hamas conflict broke out.
The US has been putting pressure on Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu to extend the ceasefire further as well as trying to prevent the conflict from spreading across the region. The AP reports:
Blinken will travel to Israel and the West Bank after attending Ukraine-focused meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday in Brussels and Skopje, North Macedonia, where foreign ministers from Nato and the Organization for Peace and Security in Europe are gathering.
Israel has agreed to pauses in its military operations in exchange for the gradual release of hostages taken by Hamas during its Oct. 7 attacks on Israel. The agreement had been due to expire Monday but was extended for an additional two days, meaning the extension will be expiring just as Blinken is arriving in Israel.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday the US hopes to see the pause extended further, but it is dependent on Hamas continuing to release hostages.
In Israel and the West Bank, Blinken will “discuss Israel’s right to defend itself consistent with international humanitarian law, as well as continued efforts to secure the release of remaining hostages, protect civilian life during Israel’s operations in Gaza, and accelerate humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza,” state department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.
He said Blinken also will discuss the principles for a post-conflict Gaza, as well as the need to establish an independent Palestinian state and prevent the conflict from widening.
In the occupied West Bank, Blinken is expected to see Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Blinken and other US officials have said they believe the Palestinian Authority should play a significant role in governing post-conflict Gaza.
From Israel and the West Bank, Blinken will travel to the United Arab Emirates for discussions with regional leaders who will be in Dubai to attend the Cop28 climate summit.
Blinken has been engaged in furious diplomacy to try to prevent the Gaza conflict from spreading, expand the provision of humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in the territory, secure the release of hostages and arrange for foreigners and dual nationals to leave Gaza overland to Egypt.
The Guardian has been keeping track of the Israeli hostages so far released and you can read about them here:
The fourth batch of hostages, released on Monday, was made up of dual nationals of France, Germany and Argentina, according to Qatar.
The Israel Defense Forces have named the 11 released on Monday as Eitan Yahalomi, Sharon Kunio, three-year-old twins Emma and Yuly Kunio, Karina Engel, Mika Engel, Yuval Engel, Sahar Kalderon, Erez Kalderon, Or Yaakov and Yagil Yaakov.
In total Hamas has released 69 of the about 240 hostages it seized on 7 October.
Emergency service lines are down in Israel, local media are reporting. Haaretz says police and ambulance lines are down while the Jerusalem Post said the fire service line was also down “amid a malfunction due to a potential cyberattack”.
It is not possible to verify that claim but we’ll be keeping an eye out for further developments.
Israel has received a list of 10 hostages to be released by Hamas on Tuesday, various outlets are reporting.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz said a list had been received and the families of the hostages had been notified.
More footage from a tearful reunion between former Palestinian child prisoner Dujana Abu Atoun and his family in East Jerusalem posted by the Hamas-affiliated Quds New Network.
Meanwhile, helicopters carrying Israeli women and children released by Hamas have landed at Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv, where the former hostages are set to be reunited with their families.
A Palestinian man has been shot dead by Israeli forces in the West Bank, Al Jazeera has reported citing the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
The man was killed by Israeli forces after Palestinian protesters lit tyres on fire in Beitunia, near Ramallah, in an attempt to prevent Israeli forces from entering the town.
More than 200 Palestinians, more than a quarter of them children, have been killed by Israeli security forces and settlers since the 7 October attack by Hamas.
Some pictures have also come through on the wires of Palestinian child Muhammad Abu Al-Humus being greeted by his family in East Jerusalem after his release from an Israeli prison.
The Hamas-affiliated Quds News Network has posted footage of a Palestinian child prisoner, Omar Abu Mayaleh, reuniting with his mother.
According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Centre, a citizen journalism project, Omar was arrested in April aged 15 after being shot by an Israeli soldier in the in Bi’er Ayoub neighborhood in Silwan, East Jerusalem.