November 27, 2023
NEW DELHI – Hamas has handed over 14 Israeli hostages and 3 foreigners to the Red Cross, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said on Saturday. This is the third batch of hostages Hamas has released as part of its agreement with Israel that will see pause in fighting and aid trucks reaching the Gaza Strip in exchange. Also, Israel will release Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons.
Israel and Hamas have reached a deal on Gaza ceasefire in exchange of the release of Israeli hostages being held in the Gaza Strip since the deadly October 7 attack.
In exchange of the hostage release, Israel is also bound to reciprocate in the similar manner and release Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails.
Also, Israel will allow humanitarian aid trucks to enter Gaza, including fuel.
The Qatar brokered deal was on the verse of collapse yesterday when Hamas delayed the release of hoatages, alleging violations of the agreement by Israel.
Hamas, before ultimately releasing 13 hostages, alleged that Israel has blocked aid trucks from moving towards north Gaza. Israel dismissed Hamas claims and gave an ultimatum till midnight to release the hostages.
Hamas’ military wing, the Qassam Brigades, said it has decided to delay the release of the second batch of hostages until Israel commits to letting aid trucks into northern Gaza.
The Qassam Brigades accused Israel of not following the terms of the agreement for hostage releases and said that not allowing aid lorries into northern Gaza is one of the reasons that it has delayed the release of Israeli hostages today.
However, after last minute efforts from Egypt and Qatari officials, Hamas agreed to release the hostages.
Earlier on Friday, Hamas freed 24 hostages, including 13 Israelis, 10 This and one Filipino nationals. In exchange, Israel also released 39 Palestinians who were lodged in Israeli prisons.
As per the deal, Hamas will release some 50 Israeli hostages over the next four days and during that time, Israeli military will observe a pause in the fighting. Israeli will also release additional Palestinian prisoners.