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New liberation of’ Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners

Omar El-Qattaa Agence France-Presse The agreement, also concluded with the support of the United States and Egypt and entered into force on Friday, provides for four days of truce which should allow the release of 50 hostages and 150 prisoners Palestinians.

Adel Zaanoun – Agence France-Presse and Hazel Ward – Agence France-Presse respectively in the Gaza Strip and Tel-Aviv

November 25, 2023

  • Middle East

Seventeen hostages held in the Gaza Strip for weeks were released on Saturday evening, on the second day of a truce between Hamas and Israel which released 39 Palestinian prisoners in exchange.

This truce, fruit of an agreement under the auspices of Qatar, offered another day of respite to the inhabitants of the besieged territory after seven weeks of war, triggered by a bloody and unprecedented attack by Hamas on Israeli soil on October 7.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of the Islamist movement, announced that they had handed over 13 Israeli hostages and four foreigners to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) shortly before midnight.


Images from Egyptian television showed the convoy of hostages passing into Egypt through the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, and Israel later reported that they had arrived in Israel. Four Thai hostages, who were not part of the deal, were also released, according to Egypt.

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The Palestinian Islamist movement announced in the afternoon that it was delaying the release of this second group of hostages, after a first Friday, accusing Israel of violating the agreement, particularly concerning deliveries of humanitarian aid to the north of the territory.

The Israeli army, which has denied any breach of the agreement, considers the northern third of the Gaza Strip as a combat zone housing, according to it, the infrastructure center of Hamas, which has took power in 2007. She ordered the population to leave and prevents anyone from returning.

Despite this warning, thousands of displaced Gazans took advantage of the break in fighting to try to return home to the north. And according to the Hamas Ministry of Health, seven of these people were injured on Saturday by Israeli fire.


Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari later said on and young people under 19.

“Get them out of hell”

The agreement, also concluded with the support of the United States and Egypt and entered into force on Friday , provides for four days of truce which should allow the release of 50 hostages and 150 Palestinian prisoners. This pause, renewable and which seemed respected on Saturday, also includes the entry of humanitarian aid and fuel into Gaza.

The Israeli bombings, incessant since the October 7 attack and the military offensive on northern Gaza, have stopped, as have the Islamist movement's rocket attacks on Israel.

Friday, first 13 hostages Israelis, women and children, had been handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and had returned to Israel via Egypt to reunite with their families. Hamas also released ten Thais and one Filipino, who were not part of the deal.

In return, Israel released 39 Palestinians, women and young people under the age of 19.

In Israel, relatives of the hostages still held in Gaza waited in anguish for a way out of a lasting nightmare for seven weeks.

In Tel Aviv, tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in the evening on Hostage Square to demand their release. “Get them out of hell,” read one banner.

“Huge pressure”

“Today, we are happy to see our loved ones return but we must not forget all those who have not yet returned,” testified Yael Adar, the daughter-in-law of Yaffa Adar, 85 years old and the oldest of the former -hostages, on the Ynet news site.

Yael Adar's son Tamir, a 38-year-old father of two young children, remains hostage after being kidnapped like his grandmother in Kibbutz Nir Oz, in southern Israel.

According to Israeli authorities, 1,200 people, the vast majority civilians, were killed on October 7, and 240 people were taken hostage.

In retaliation, Israel promised to “eliminate” Hamas , classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel, relentlessly bombing the Palestinian territory and launching a ground offensive on October 27, until the truce.

In the Gaza Strip , 14,854 people, including 6,150 children and young people under the age of 18, were killed by Israeli strikes, according to the Hamas government.

The chief of staff of the Israeli army, General Herzi Halevi, warned that the war was not over. “We will resume attacking Gaza as soon as the truce is over […] to dismantle Hamas and create enormous pressure to bring back as quickly as possible as many hostages as possible, every last one of them,” he said. he said.

Hospitals overloaded


In the occupied West Bank, scenes of jubilation, amid fireworks, Palestinian flags and various movements including the green banner of Hamas, accompanied the return of the prisoners released on Friday evening.

To East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967, demonstrations of joy were however prohibited.


“I was waiting for the day when I would be released from prison and could hug my mother,” explained Saturday to AFP Rawan Nafez Mohammad Abou Matar, returned to her home in Beitlo, near Ramallah.

The young woman was sentenced in 2015, when she was 21, to nine years in prison for attempted murder of an Israeli border guard.

The truce offers a moment of respite to thousands of internally displaced people in Gaza who left hospitals and schools in the south of the territory where they had sought refuge to return home.

Hospitals in the south of the Gaza Strip continued on Saturday to receive many wounded evacuated from the North. But according to Ashraf al-Qidreh, spokesperson for the Hamas Ministry of Health, “they no longer have the reception capacity or the equipment” to deal with this influx.

“It feels good”

More than half of the territory's housing has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN, and 1.7 million people have been displaced, 2.4 million inhabitants.

“The truce feels good, we hope it will last. It's good when it's quiet. People want to live,” Mohammed Dheir, who found refuge with his family in Rafah, in southern Gaza, told AFP.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from northern Gaza have fled. massed since the start of the war in this part of the territory to try to escape the bombings.

The truce allowed the acceleration of the arrival of humanitarian aid in Gaza, subject to a siege Israel's total since October 7. These cargoes, whose entry from Egypt is subject to the Israeli green light, have been arriving in recent weeks in dribs and drabs.

Dozens of trucks crossed the Rafah border post on Saturday for the second consecutive day, according to images shot by AFP.

In addition, six Palestinians were killed during incidents with the Israeli army on Saturday in the West Bank, including four in Jenin, according to the Palestinian ministry of health. Nearly 230 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli settlers and soldiers in the West Bank since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116