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Israel & Palestine

25 hostages, including a two-year-old, released by Hamas during four-day truce with Israel

user avatar Author: Editors Desk Source: Business Insider:::
November 24, 2023 at 12:53
People attending a demonstration to show solidarity with Israel and against anti-semitism hold up photographs of hostages taken by Hamas on October 22, 2023 Getty Images
People attending a demonstration to show solidarity with Israel and against anti-semitism hold up photographs of hostages taken by Hamas on October 22, 2023 Getty Images

Twenty-five hostages were released by Hamas on Friday, including a child as young as two, at the start of a four-day truce with Israel. 

Twenty-five hostages were released by Hamas on Friday, including a child as young as two, at the start of a four-day truce with Israel. 

Ten of the hostages are Thai citizens, one is Filipino, and 13 others are believed to be Israeli women and children, according to the Israeli government's press office and Qatari foreign ministry. The International Committee of the Red Cross in Israel and the Occupied Territories said in a post on X that it had facilitated the "safe release" of 24 of the hostages. The status of the 25th hostage was not immediately made clear. 

The hostage release comes at the start of a four-day ceasefire in fighting that kicked off on October 7 when Hamas fighters from the Gaza Strip launched a surprise attack on southern Israel that killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and resulted in 240 hostages being taken. Hamas has previously said it could release as many as 70 hostages if Israel agreed to a ceasefire, which was brokered by Qatar, Eygypt, and the United States following weeks of bloody fighting that has resulted in civilian deaths on both sides.   

The hostages were most recently with the Israeli Defense Forces, which said they underwent an initial medical assessment. They will next be accompanied by IDF soldiers to Israeli hospitals, "where they will be reunited with their families," IDF said in a statement.

The Israeli Prime Minister's office said that among the hostages released is a 2-year-old, a 4-year-old, and a 5-year-old, as well as several people over age 70, including an 85-year-old. 

Among the hostages released is Adina Moshe, 72, according to people familiar with Friday's hostage release. Moshe was pulled through the window of her home in Kibbutz Nir Oz, where her husband was killed in front of her, before being taken on a motorcycle to Gaza on October 7, according to The Times of Israel.

Margalit Moses, 77, who was also abducted from Nir Oz, is also one of the hostages who has been freed, these people said.

Thailand's Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin acknowledged the release of the Thai citizens on X on Friday, saying embassy officials are on their way to pick them up. According to the Israeli government's press office, the Thai hostages are in Israel now and on their way to Assaf Harofeh hospital for treatment.

(Editor's note: This story is developing and will be updated throughout the day.)
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