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Israel & Palestine

Who are the 13 Israeli hostages released by Hamas on Saturday?

user avatar Author: Editors Desk
November 27, 2023 at 08:25
People participate in a show of solidarity with hostages being held in the Gaza Strip in Tel Aviv, Israel on November 25, 2023. © Leo Correa, AP
People participate in a show of solidarity with hostages being held in the Gaza Strip in Tel Aviv, Israel on November 25, 2023. © Leo Correa, AP

Families and children kidnapped from southern Israel's Kibbutz Beeri were among the 13 Israeli hostages released by Hamas on Saturday, according to accounts given to AFP by their relatives, Israeli press, and the Hostage Families Forum.

The releases came following a Friday ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, which is supposed to last four days and allow for 50 Israelis and 150 Palestinians to be freed.

A group of 13 Israeli hostages were also freed on Friday under the agreement, while Israel released 39 Palestinian prisoners on Friday, and a further 39 on Saturday night.

Hamas also freed 15 foreigners who were not included in its agreement with Israel: four Thai hostages on Saturday, in addition to ten Thais and one Filipino released on Friday.
 

A Red Cross vehicle carrying Israeli hostages passes the Gaza Strip crossing into Egypt in Rafah on November 25, 2023.
A Red Cross vehicle carrying Israeli hostages passes the Gaza Strip crossing into Egypt in Rafah on November 25, 2023. © Fatima Shbair, AP


The 13 Israeli hostages released Saturday are:

Hila and Emily

Hila and Emily, two friends aged 13 and 9, were abducted together, along with Hila's mother Reaya Rotem, 54, who is still held in Gaza.

Emily was initially reported dead, but was later counted among the hostages.

The young Israeli-Irish girl, whose mother died of cancer when she was two-and-a-half years old, celebrated her ninth birthday in captivity on November 17, according to her father, Thomas Hand.

"She spent her birthday in the tunnels of Gaza," he said at a gathering in her honour in London that day.

 

Adina Shoham and her family

Adina Shoham, 38, was abducted with her three-year-old daughter, Yahel, and eight-year-old son, Naveh.

All three also hold German dual nationality through Adina's father, Avshalom Haran, who was killed in the attack.

Adina's aunt, Sharon Avigdori, was abducted with her daughter Noam, 12.

They were all at Kibbutz Beeri to visit Adina's mother, Shoshan Haran, who was also released on Saturday.

Adina's husband, Tal Shoham, was the seventh hostage in their family and is still held by Hamas.


 
 


Shiri Weiss and her daughter

Shiri Weiss, a 53-year-old accountant, and her daughter Noga, 18, were abducted from their home in Kibbutz Beeri.

According to the accounts of their relatives, with whom Noga was in contact via WhatsApp during the assault, the young woman was hiding under a bed when her mother was abducted.

Driven out by smoke that filled her house, she tried to hide outside, where she was spotted.

Her father, Ilan Weiss, had left his home at dawn that day to defend his kibbutz. He was also taken hostage.


Alma and Noam

Teenagers Alma, 13, and Noam, 16, were abducted from Kibbutz Beeri in the company of their father Dror Or and their cousin Liam, 18. 

Their mother, Yonat, was killed in the attack.

Their elder brother, Yahli, who is undergoing military service in northern Israel, was not at home.


Maya Regev

Maya Regev, 21, was abducted with her younger brother Itay, 18, as they tried to flee the Tribe of Nova music festival.

Maya was hit by gunfire while on the phone with their father, who tried in vain to locate their position. 

A few hours later, the siblings were seen in video circulating online tied to the back of a pick-up truck.

Originally from Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, Maya and Itay had returned to Israel the previous day after celebrating their mother's birthday abroad.

Itay has not yet been released. 
 

Four Thai nationals freed

Four Thai nationals were also freed in Saturday's second round of releases, adding to the 10 who were released on Friday.

Thailand's Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said the Thais in the latest release were in good health and eager to contact their families.

"Everybody is safe, on the whole in good mental health and are able to speak normally," he posted on social media platform X.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and Reuters)

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