Amaury Paul Agence France-Presse Kanyarat Suriyasri shows a photo of her husband Owat Suriyasri, who was taken hostage by Hamas on October 7 in Israel.
Adel Zaanoun – Agence France-Presse and Marc Judier – Agence France-Presse respectively in the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem
- Middle East
Twelve Thais who were held hostage by Hamas in Gaza were released Friday by the Palestinian Islamist movement a few hours after the start of the truce concluded with Israel, the Thai prime minister announced. “The security services and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have confirmed that 12 Thai hostages have already been released,” said Srettha Thavisin on X (ex-Twitter).
Two sources close to the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas said on Friday that hostages kidnapped on October 7 had been handed over in the Gaza Strip to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for their return to Israel. “Half an hour ago, the prisoners were handed over to the Red Cross who will bring them to the Egyptians” via the Rafah border post, then to the Israelis, one of them told AFP. A second source shortly after confirmed the information.
Qatar, a key mediator with Egypt and the United States, reached an agreement on Wednesday for a renewable four-day truce during which 50 hostages held in Gaza must be released along with 150 Palestinian detainees.
The war was sparked by an unprecedented bloody attack on October 7 by Hamas on Israeli soil. In retaliation, Israel relentlessly bombed the Gaza Strip, controlled by the Palestinian movement that the Israeli government promised to “annihilate.”
The humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territory is disastrous according to NGOs and the UN.
The “humanitarian pause” came into effect at 7 a.m. (5 a.m. GMT) and Qatar said on Thursday that a first group of 13 women and children were to be “released around 4 p.m. (2 p.m. GMT)”.< /p>
At midday, a list of 39 names of Palestinian prisoners — 15 children and 24 women — who could be released in exchange for hostages was released by the Commission responsible for prisoners within the Palestinian Authority.< /p>
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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will “receive the hostages one by one, or in groups, bring them across the border” with Egypt at the Rafah crossing point and then “entrust them to Israeli forces,” said Ziv Agmon, advisor in charge of the file at the Prime Minister's Office, at the press center set up in Tel Aviv to follow this operation.
According to an Egyptian security source, they will then fly to Israel from Egypt's al-Arich airport, in northern Sinai. Unconfirmed information on the Israeli side.
Finally, “they will be reunited with their families after their arrival” in an Israeli hospital, said Ziv Agmon.
Israeli Maayan Zin learned that her two minor daughters were not among those scheduled to be released on Friday.
“This is incredibly difficult for me,” she wrote on X (ex -Twitter), although “relieved for the other families.”
In occupied East Jerusalem, Palestinian Samira Douayyat spoke of the possible release of her daughter Shourouk, 26, who will have served half of his 16-year prison sentence. “I cry, I laugh, I tremble,” she told AFP.
Israel released a list of a total of 300 Palestinians likely to be released if the truce is extended, including 33 women and 267 youths under the age of 19. Among these detainees, 49 are members of Hamas.
“We set the condition that […] Palestinian women and children prisoners” be released “in order of seniority” in detention, declared Bassem Naïm , senior Hamas executive.
“I’m going home”
At first light, when the incessant airstrikes for nearly 50 days had died down, like the rocket fire towards Israel from Gaza, tens of thousands of Palestinians in the south of the Gaza Strip had already gathered their personal belongings to return to their villages.
Omar Jibrine, 16, had found refuge with eight other members of his family at the Nasser hospital in Khan Younès.
A quarter of an hour before the truce even came into force, he took the road towards his village a few kilometers from Khan Younes: “I'm going home,” he told AFP.
But as cars and carts set off, leaflets in Arabic launched from the air by the Israeli army warn: “the war is not over yet.”
“Returning to the north is prohibited”, underline the leaflets, the Israeli army considering the north of the Gaza Strip, from where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have fled towards the south, as a combat zone where it has concentrated its bombings.
The international community welcomed the truce agreement, seeing it as a first step towards a possible lasting ceasefire.
At the UN, Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour called on all those who contributed to this agreement “to find a way to prevent the resumption of aggression.” “This cannot just be a pause before the massacre resumes,” he insisted.
At the end of this truce, the Israeli government and the army committed to “continue” the fighting, in order to “eliminate” Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, its main ally, and the EU.
“Taking control of the northern Gaza Strip is the first step in a long war and we are preparing for the next phases,” said the army spokesperson, Daniel Hagari.
According to Israeli authorities, 1,200 people, the vast majority civilians, were killed and around 240 people kidnapped on October 7, the day of the Hamas attack of a scale and violence never seen in the history of Israel. Israel.
In retaliation, Israel relentlessly bombed the Gaza Strip, where 14,854 people including 6,150 children were killed, according to the Hamas government.
Entry of humanitarian trucks
Israeli bombings in recent weeks have devastated the Palestinian territory and caused a serious humanitarian crisis according to the UN, including the displacement of around 1.7 million of Gaza's 2.4 million residents, where aid is flowing into dropper.
The truce should also allow the entry of a greater number of aid convoys. On Friday, “three trucks carrying 150,000 liters of fuel and four trucks of gas entered (the Gaza Strip via Rafah), or 84 tons,” Waël Abou Omar, communications director of the point of contact, told AFP. Rafah crossing, on the Palestinian side.
In addition, a total of 230 trucks containing food aid are expected to enter during the day.
According to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), 160,000 liters of fuel are needed every day to ensure “only basic humanitarian operations”.
This aid is intended only for the south of the Gaza Strip and is delivered to the UN and the Red Crescent, officials said.
But the truce remains “insufficient” to bring in the necessary aid, international NGOs stressed, calling for a real cease-fire fire.
In addition to the aid arriving in the Gaza Strip, “144 Palestinians who were stuck in Egypt were able to enter” through Rafah, said Waël Abou Omar.
There, a woman who says she left at the beginning of October to undergo “joint surgery” in Egypt makes the victory sign, saying she is impatient to return home.