GAZA: Sixteen captives were handed over to Israel on Wednesday, the second and last day of an extended ceasefire in the Gaza fighting between Hamas and Israel, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other authorities said. Qatar said that ten of the released hostages were part of the current truce deal, while four Thai nationals and two Russians were freed separate from that agreement.
According to media reports, the development comes as negotiations intensified for an extension to a ceasefire pausing war the Gaza Strip. Israel’s military also said that ten more Israeli hostages, four Thai nationals have been released in Gaza following earlier release of two Israelis.
In a statement, the Red Cross confirmed it had facilitated the release of sixteen hostages today. It added that their teams have shifted them and handed them over to the Israeli officials.
We’re glad to inform that 16 people who were being held hostage in Gaza have just been released, with facilitation from the ICRC.
Our teams have transferred them and handed them over to the Israeli authorities.
This is possible thanks to our neutral intermediary role.
— ICRC in Israel & OT (@ICRC_ilot) November 29, 2023
Similarly, Qatar announced that ten Israelis including one American, one Dutch, and three German dual citizens as well as two Russians and four Thai nationals have been freed by Hamas in Gaza.
“10 Israeli are being freed as part of the deal, including 5 dual nationals: – A Dutch dual national, who is also a minor – 3 German dual nationals – one American dual national,” Qatar Foreign Ministry Spokesman Majed Al Ansari stated, saying that two Russian nationals and four Thais were also freed. He said that 30 Palestinians had been freed from Israeli prisons in exchange.
Israeli hostages released from Gaza include 5 minors & 5 women, those of dual nationality within the group are:
– A Dutch minor
– 3 Germans
– 1 American
— د. ماجد محمد الأنصاري Dr. Majed Al Ansari (@majedalansari) November 29, 2023
Earlier, a source close to Hamas said that its military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, had handed over Wednesday a group of Israeli captives to the Red Cross in Gaza. The release is the sixth under an extended humanitarian ceasefire that has paused war between Hamas and Israel Gaza. The Israeli army also said that it had received the first two hostages freed as part of tonight’s exchange.
On Tuesday, Israel’s prison authority said that 30 Palestinian detainees had been freed on the fifth day of the ceasefire pausing fighting in Gaza. According to Arab media, 14-year-old Palestinian Ahmed Salayme also arrived home in East Jerusalem following his release from Israeli jail. The development came following ten Israeli captives returned to Israel under the terms of the agreement following their release by Hamas, along with two more Thai captives.