Recommended

Hamas releases Israeli, Thai hostages in 4-day ceasefire for prisoner-hostage exchange

Families of the hostages participate in a special ‘Kabalat Shabbat,’ (welcoming the Shabbat) prayer service ahead of the release of hostages, outside the Museum of Tel Aviv on November 24, 2023, in Tel Aviv, Israel. A four-day ceasefire began between Israel and Hamas began this morning. A total of 50 hostages held by Hamas are to be released during the temporary truce, the first such pause in fighting since Oct. 7, when Hamas launched its terrorist attacks and Israel responded with a vast military offensive to destroy the militant group that governs Gaza. Under the deal, 150 Palestinian prisoners are also to be released from Israel, and more humanitarian aid will be admitted at the Gaza-Egypt border crossing.
Families of the hostages participate in a special ‘Kabalat Shabbat,’ (welcoming the Shabbat) prayer service ahead of the release of hostages, outside the Museum of Tel Aviv on November 24, 2023, in Tel Aviv, Israel. A four-day ceasefire began between Israel and Hamas began this morning. A total of 50 hostages held by Hamas are to be released during the temporary truce, the first such pause in fighting since Oct. 7, when Hamas launched its terrorist attacks and Israel responded with a vast military offensive to destroy the militant group that governs Gaza. Under the deal, 150 Palestinian prisoners are also to be released from Israel, and more humanitarian aid will be admitted at the Gaza-Egypt border crossing. | Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Israeli and Thai hostages in Gaza have been transferred to the Red Cross and are en route to the border crossing with Egypt after the Hamas terrorist group agreed to a four-day ceasefire with Israel. 

Hamas agreed to release 50 of 236 hostages in exchange for 150 Palestinians being held in Israel as part of a prisoner-hostage exchange. Thirteen Israelis were freed Friday on the first day of the exchange. Ten Thai hostages and one Filipino were released in a separate deal negotiated with Iran. 

The Israeli hostages released range from ages 2 to 85. 

The first group of Israeli hostages released Friday include: Margalit Moses, 78; Adina Moshe, 72; Yaffa Adar, 85; Hannah Perry, 79; Danielle Aloni, 44, and her daughter, Amelia Aloni, 6; Keren Mundar, 54, and her son, Ohad Mundar, 9, and his grandmother, Ruthie Mundar, 78; Doron Katz Asher, 34, and her two daughters, Raz, 4, and Aviv, 2; and Hannah Katzir, 77, who Palestine Islamic Jihad claimed had died in an Israeli airstrike.

Watch a livestream of the release below: 

Hamas released elderly women, mothers and children, but continues to hold fathers, husbands and grandfathers captive, leaving families separated. The Palestinian prisoners released are comprised of 24 women and 15 males between the ages of 14 and 18. 

An Israeli official confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that the 13 hostages were released at Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip and placed under custody with the Red Cross.

Ismail Haniyeh, a prominent official with Hamas, said in a statement that the terrorist group “reaffirms its commitment to the successful implementation of the agreement, as long as the enemy also commits to its implementation.”

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said there would continue to be "a brief pause" in the fighting for the agreement, adding that the IDF "will continue to operate with full military force against Hamas. We will not stop until we achieve our goals — the destruction of Hamas and the return of all the hostages," according to the Jerusalem Post.

As the exchange took place between Israel and Hamas, 10 Thai nationals taken hostage by the Islamic terrorist group were released at Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip, according to Egyptian state information service Diaa Rashwan.

Thailand's Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin took to X on Friday to announce that he had gotten confirmation that the 12 nationals had been successfully released. However, Hamas only released 10 Thai nationals. 

On Oct. 7, Hamas launched large-scale attacks on Southern Israel, killing an estimated 1,200 people while taking as many as 240 people hostage, including American citizens. As many as 10 Americans remain unaccounted for after Hamas' Oct. 7 attacks, and some are believed to be held hostage, including 3-year-old Abigail Mor Edan. 

One of the areas hit by Hamas was the Tribe of Nova Festival in Re'im, Israel, in which more than 250 attendees were killed, and dozens more were kidnapped by the terrorist organization.  

Israel launched retaliatory attacks in the Gaza Strip against the terrorist organization, which, according to claims made by the Hamas-led Gaza Health Ministry, has resulted in over 10,000 civilian deaths.

Barbara Leaf, assistant secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee earlier this month that the death toll is likely “higher than” the estimate “being cited.”

“In this period of conflict and conditions of war, it is very difficult for any of us to assess what the rate of casualties are,” said Leaf, as quoted by The Hill. “We think they’re very high, frankly, and it could be that they’re even higher than are being cited.”

Leaf added that people will “know only after the guns fall silent” and that she “can’t stipulate to one figure or another, it’s very possible they’re even higher than is being reported.” 

Additionally, the IDF has urged Palestinian civilians living in Northern Gaza to flee southward to escape the violence, but Hamas has not allowed many civilians to leave, creating a humanitarian crisis within the Hamas-controlled territory.

On Wednesday, it was announced that there would be a four-day truce between Israel and Hamas, which would include an exchange of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners.

As part of the agreement, Hamas would release 50 of the estimated 236 hostages that they have kidnapped, while Israel would free 150 prisoners, the majority of whom were teenagers imprisoned for minor offenses.

In addition, Israel would allow hundreds of trucks filled with medical and humanitarian supplies to enter the Gaza Strip to help Palestinian civilians if Hamas distributes the aid. 

"I welcome the commitment that Israel has made to support an extended pause to ensure this deal can be fully carried out and to ensure additional humanitarian assistance reaches civilians in Gaza," said Vice President Kamala Harris in a statement.

"The flow of aid must substantially increase and civilians must be protected. We also call on Hamas to release all the remaining hostages."

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Free Religious Freedom Updates

Join thousands of others to get the FREEDOM POST newsletter for free, sent twice a week from The Christian Post.

Most Popular

Free Religious Freedom Updates

A religious liberty newsletter that is a must-read for people of faith.

More Articles