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Hamas releases first 13 Israeli hostages as part of ceasefire agreement (WATCH)

Meanwhile, in a brief video, Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, asserted that the group remains committed to adhering to the terms of the truce, contingent on Israel reciprocating the same commitment.

BREAKING Hamas releases first 13 Israeli hostages as part of ceasefire agreement (WATCH) snt
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First Published Nov 24, 2023, 8:28 PM IST

Nearly seven weeks since the barbaric attack by Hamas in Israel on October 7, the Palestinian terrorist group on Friday released 13 Israelis who were held hostage in Gaza as part of the ceasefire agreement brokered by Qatar. According to local media, the initial batch of Israeli hostages were first transferred to the International Committee for Red Cross staff and crossed into Egypt via Rafah Crossing after undergoing brief medical examination at a hospital in Khan Younis in southern Gaza. The 13 hostages will be reunited with their families in a hospital in Israel.

Moments before, the PM of Thailand Srettha Thavisin announced that 12 Thai nationals held hostage by Hamas in Gaza have been released. With their release, 25 people will walk out of captivity after nearly two months.

This release, involving 13 Israeli hostages comprising mothers and children, marks the first stage of a planned four-stage process. Hamas has committed to releasing around 50 hostages over the four-day truce with Israel, specifically children, mothers, and other women. Both parties have also agreed that, in exchange for an additional day of ceasefire for every 10 Israeli hostages, Hamas may consider releasing more individuals.

It's important to note that the released hostages constitute a small fraction of the approximately 240 individuals held by Gaza terrorists since the violent events of October 7. On that day, 3,000 Hamas-led terrorists were involved in an incident resulting in the loss of 1,200 lives in southern Israel.

Israel has a reciprocal commitment to release 150 Palestinian prisoners, all of whom are women and minors, in exchange for the 50 Israelis. The first 39 of these Palestinian prisoners are set to be released on Friday in response to the return of the initial 13 Israeli hostages.

Also read: Before Gaza ceasefire, IDF destroyed Hamas tunnel under Shifa Hospital (WATCH)

Meanwhile, in a brief video, Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, asserted that the group remains committed to adhering to the terms of the truce, contingent on Israel reciprocating the same commitment.

“Hamas will pursue its effort to halt the Israeli assault on Gaza, complete the prisoner exchange, end the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and “attack” on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in addition to enabling the Palestinian people to realize their legitimate national right for an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, self-determination and the return [of Palestinian refugees]," Haniyeh said.

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