Israel and Hamas

First Group Of Israeli Hostages Handed Over To Red Cross

Israel and Hamas

As part of the hostage deal between Israel and Hamas, the first group of Israeli hostages has been handed over to the staff of the International Committee for Red Cross, The Times of Israel reported.

The 13 Israeli hostages in ambulances are heading from southern Gaza’s Khan Younis to the Rafah crossing into Israel, The Times of Israel reported citing an Israeli official.

The release of 13 hostages, who are mothers and children, is the first of four expected stages. Notably, Hamas has agreed to release some 50 hostages, which include women and children over the four days of the truce with Israel.

The sides agreed that Hamas might eventually free more hostages, in exchange for an extension of the ceasefire by an extra day for each 10 Israeli hostages, according to The Times of Israel report. The released hostages are only a small group out of some 240 people held hostage by Hamas terrorists since October 7, when Hamas launched an attack on Israel.

As per the news report, Israel is set to release 150 Palestinian prisoners held for terror offences. In return for 50 Israelis, all of the prisoners that will be released will be women and minors. Israel will release 39 prisoners in return for the first 13 Israelis to return.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant will closely monitor the management of the operation to bring the Israelis who have been released from Hamas captivity, Israel Prime Minister’s Office announced in a statement posted on X.

Taking to X, the Israel Prime Minister’s Office stated, “The Prime Minister and the Defense Minister will closely monitor management of the operation to bring the Israelis who have been released from Hamas captivity back to the country.”

He added, “During the operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant will be at the IDF Operations Branch control center at the Kirya in Tel Aviv.”

In addition to the 13 Israeli hostages, Egypt’s government media office said that it has successfully negotiated the separate release of 12 Thai hostages who were abducted during Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, the report said. Thailand said it believes 26 of its citizens were taken hostage on October 7.

Subsequently, Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said that 12 of the country’s citizens have been released. Meanwhile, the truce brokered by Qatar between Israel and Hamas went into effect at 7 am (local time). (ANI)

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