Friday, March 1, 2024

Breakthrough in Israeli-Hamas truce: Eleven hostages safely returned to Israel

The exchange is the fourth of its kind since the initiation of the truce, with Hamas committing to the release of hostages in tandem with the ceasefire

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Eleven hostages held by Hamas have been successfully released and are now in Israel, as confirmed by the Israeli army late last night.

The freed individuals, consisting of nine children and two women, will undergo medical examinations before being reunited with their families, marking a crucial step towards normalcy.

This release is the latest in a series of gestures aimed at de-escalating tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement.

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As part of the truce brokered on Friday, Hamas handed over the hostages to the Red Cross, and Israeli authorities subsequently announced the release of 33 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the captives.

The exchange is the fourth of its kind since the initiation of the truce, with Hamas committing to the release of hostages in tandem with the ceasefire.

In total, 58 people held hostage by Hamas have been released, accompanied by the release of 117 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons.

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The terms of the truce remain unchanged, with an agreement to extend the humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip for an additional two days.

This extension comes following confirmation from Egyptian and Qatari officials, as well as the White House and Hamas, signalling a collective commitment to ongoing diplomatic efforts.

According to Egypt’s state intelligence, the truce extension serves multiple purposes. It facilitates the daily release of ten hostages in exchange for 30 Palestinians, continuing the trajectory set by the initial agreement.

Moreover, the extension allows for the delivery of essential humanitarian aid, including medical supplies, food, and fuel, to the beleaguered enclave.

Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy provided an update on the hostage situation, noting that 184 individuals are still held in the Gaza Strip.

Among them, 14 are foreigners, and 80 hold Israeli citizenship along with a second nationality. The ongoing negotiations and releases underscore the complexity of the situation and the efforts involved in reaching a comprehensive resolution.

The truce extension, while a positive development, highlights the fragility of the situation, emphasizing the need for sustained diplomatic efforts to address the root causes of the conflict.

As the world watches these delicate negotiations unfold, there is a collective hope that continued dialogue will pave the way for a lasting peace in the region.


This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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