Conflicts & War

Second group of hostages freed by Hamas leaves Gaza Strip

Jerusalem, 25 Nov (EFE) – The second group of hostages released by Hamas, 13 Israelis and four foreigners, have now left the Gaza Strip and are in Egypt, where Red Cross teams handed them over to the Israeli security services.

“Red Cross representatives have just transferred the hostages to Egypt. According to the information received, 17 hostages have been released, including 13 Israelis and 4 Thais,” an Israeli military spokesman confirmed.

The convoy of released hostages is now heading for the Kerem Shalom crossing between Egypt and Israel, where security officials will verify the identities of the released hostages, the same source said.

Among the Israelis, eight children and five women were released, confirmed Qatar, the country that brokered the agreement between the parties.

The Egyptian television channel Al Qahera News showed live footage of the 17 hostages arriving on the Egyptian side of Rafah. Images showed a minibus and an ambulance at the crossing.

Egyptian doctors carried out a preliminary medical examination before handing them over to the Israeli authorities.

Among the first confirmed hostages are Sharon Avigdori, 52, and her 12-year-old daughter Noam Avigdori, as well as siblings Noam Or, 17, and Alma Or, 13, whose mother Yonat was killed and whose father Dron and cousin remain in captivity. Also Hila Rotem, 13, and Emily Hand, 9.

All are from Kibbutz Beeri, where Hamas carried out one of its worst massacres on 7 October, the Forum of Families of Hostages and Missing confirmed.

In return, Israel was to release 39 Palestinian prisoners, 6 women and 33 teenagers, as agreed on Saturday.

On Friday, the first group of 13 Israeli hostages – along with 10 Thais and a Filipino – were released in exchange for 39 Palestinian prisoners, as part of an agreement to free 50 prisoners for 150 during a four-day ceasefire. EFE sga/mcd

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