Posted on

Truce Holds as Hostages Released and Prisoners Freed in Israel-Gaza Exchange

In a significant development, the truce between Hamas and Israel has entered its third day, marked by the release of hostages and prisoners on both sides. Here’s a summary of the latest updates:

Hostage Release:

  • A group of 17 released hostages, including 13 Israelis and four Thai nationals, arrived in Israel after leaving Gaza in a Red Cross convoy late Saturday local time.
  • The release follows a delay, with obstacles reportedly overcome through mediation. Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson stated that disputes over aid and the selection of Palestinian prisoners caused the delay.

Prisoner Exchange:

  • Simultaneously, 39 Palestinian detainees and prisoners were released from Israeli jails, including 33 teenage boys and six women.
  • The release is part of the truce agreement between Hamas and Israel.

Truce Dispute Resolved:

  • Disputes over the release of hostages were resolved, according to Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson, facilitating the exchange between the two parties.
  • Hamas had cited aid disputes and the selection of prisoners as reasons for the delay.

Next Hostage Release:

  • Israel has received a list of hostages scheduled to be released on Sunday, with security officials currently verifying the list, as reported by Israel’s Prime Minister’s office.

Details on Released Hostages:

  • Among the Israeli hostages freed on Saturday were 9-year-old Emily Hand and 21-year-old Maya Regev. Regev was taken to Soroka Hospital for the treatment of a moderate injury.

Care for Foreign Nationals:

  • Four Thai nationals released by Hamas late Saturday are assured “dedicated care” by Israel, according to Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.

Humanitarian Aid and Convoy:

  • The Palestine Red Crescent Society received 187 trucks from the Egyptian Red Crescent on Saturday.
  • The UN dispatched a convoy to northern Gaza consisting of 61 trucks.
  • US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called for an increase in humanitarian aid and fuel delivered to Gaza.

As the truce continues, the exchange of hostages and prisoners, along with the delivery of humanitarian aid, marks a step toward de-escalation in the region. The international community closely watches the developments as efforts are made to consolidate the fragile ceasefire.