In an unprecedented move, Hamas has released twelve hostages, including ten Israelis and two Argentinians, amidst the ongoing ceasefire in Gaza. This move marks the fifth day of the ceasefire and is in line with a broader agreement for an exchange of hostages for prisoners. The Israeli military has confirmed the transportation of the hostages back to Israeli territory, with the Red Cross providing assistance in the process.
Hostage Release amidst Ceasefire
This release brings the total count of hostages freed by Hamas since the commencement of the truce to 81. This includes 60 Israelis and 21 foreign citizens. The humanitarian pause in hostilities has allowed for these exchanges to take place, marking a significant shift in the ongoing conflict.
Prisoner Exchange as Part of the Agreement
In addition to the release of the hostages, 30 Palestinian civilians, comprising 15 women and 15 men, are being freed on the same day. This development is part of the broader agreement that was established at the onset of the ceasefire. Prior to this, Israel had already released 150 prisoners.
Qatar's Role in Mediation
Qatar is overseeing the ceasefire and the exchange of hostages and prisoners as part of their role as the mediator in the conflict. Their involvement has been crucial in facilitating these exchanges and maintaining the fragile peace. The total number of people captured by Hamas during an attack in southern Israel on October 7, which resulted in 1,200 deaths, was around 240. The ongoing exchange of hostages and prisoners is viewed as a positive step towards resolving the tense situation.