Happening now….. 12 Thais had been released from captivity in Gaza and 13 Israelis (no Americans).
A total of 50 hostages and 150 Palestinian terrorists are to be freed over the four-day truce
25 hostages were just released.
13 Israelis and 12 Thai nationals.
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) November 24, 2023
Palestinian civilians chase and jeer at the ambulances driving the Israeli women and children hostages out of Gaza. pic.twitter.com/GKw5Hk54wq
— Marina Medvin (@MarinaMedvin) November 24, 2023
First images of the hostages being transported by the @ICRC
According to Israeli Ch 12 the hostages were given a preliminary eye exam (after being held captive in the dark tunnels for nearly 50 days) and were given water and a change of clothes. pic.twitter.com/mI7ghOcXyF
— Lidar Gravé-Lazi (@LidarGL) November 24, 2023
Some of the hostages were injured and required new bandages. pic.twitter.com/F7MX7aQTCK
— Marina Medvin (@MarinaMedvin) November 24, 2023
Hamas Releases First Group of Hostages Under Deal With Israel
Top officials confirmed the release of some Hamas captives on Friday.
By Jack Phillips, November 24, 2023;
Hamas on Friday released a group of hostages as part of an agreement with the terrorist organization and Israel amid a ceasefire.
Thai officials confirmed that 12 captured nationals were among those who were released by Hamas, while Israeli media reported that a group of women and children were being handed over to Egyptian officials.
Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said in a social media post that the 12 Thais had been released from captivity in Gaza. There was no further information immediately available about the Thai prisoners, whose release had not previously been announced as one of the terms of an agreed prisoner swap accompanying the first truce of the seven-week-old war.
“I have received confirmation from our national security team and ministry of foreign affairs that 12 Thai hostages have been released. Our RTE staffs are on their way to receive them,” Mr. Thavisin said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We should know more about their names and details, please stay tuned,” Mr. Thavisin added.
Israeli media, citing anonymous sources, reported that the group of hostages due to be released under the truce deal had been handed to the Red Cross and to an Egyptian security team. The Epoch Times could not immediately confirm those details.
So far, no Israeli authorities or official accounts have publicly commented on the hostage release. A media outlet associated with Hamas, Al-Asqa TV also reported that the terrorist organization handed over a group of Israeli hostages Friday.
In exchange, Israel was scheduled to release the first 39 Palestinians from its jails on Friday, among them 24 women and 15 teenagers.
A total of 50 hostages and 150 Palestinian prisoners are to be freed over the four-day truce, though Israel has said the ceasefire could be extended if Hamas continues to release hostages at a rate of at least 10 per day. A Palestinian official told Reuters that up to 100 hostages could go free.
Hamas is believed to have taken more than 200 captives since it launched a terrorist attack on Israel on Oct. 7.
LIVE NOW: Hamas and Israel Swap Hostages and Prisoners as Part of Truce Deal
The Palestinian embassy in Cairo announced Thursday that Palestinians who were stuck in the Sinai Peninsula were allowed to cross into Gaza. The embassy said that Palestinians in Egypt could cross into the region on Saturday if they wish.
“We are very happy for those families whose loved ones will be coming home, but we are worried about those who are staying behind,” Idan Baruch, whose younger brother Uriel Baruch, was kidnapped last month.
Elaborating, Mr. Baruch told the Jerusalem Post: “We had hoped to see a general agreement which would bring all of the hostages out, but the government has insisted that nobody will be left behind, and we have to trust in that. What can we do? We don’t make the decisions. So at least there will be those who will be released now, and we will be happy for them.”
The hostage exchange, meanwhile, occurred in the midst of a brief truce agreed upon by Israel and Hamas. The head of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, said in a video Friday that his organization will abide by the agreement if Israel does the same.
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