The second group of 17 hostages have been held in Gaza since their kidnapping by Hamas activists.The Israeli prisoners were released late Saturday night after an hours-long delay as part of a short-term ceasefire agreement brokered by the United States, Qatar and Egypt. In return, 39 Palestinian women and children imprisoned in Israel were released.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that 13 Israelis and four Thais had been released. The office announced that seven Israeli children between the ages of 3 and 16 years, and six Israeli women between the ages of 18 and 67 years, had been released.
He was among those releasedan Israeli-Irish girl who was initially believed to have been killed by Hamas.
“Emily is back with us! We cannot find the words to describe our feelings after 50 challenging and complex days,” her family said in a statement to CBS News.
Among those released on Saturday was a teenage girl whose mother is still being held, and a 21-year-old woman who was kidnapped from…At least 260 people were slaughtered in the violence carried out by Hamas on October 7. Two teenage brothers whose mother was killed by Hamas were also released.
The Red Cross had initially transferred the hostages through the Rafah crossing in southern Gaza to Egypt. The 13 Israeli hostages were then flown to Israel early Sunday morning for medical evaluations, before being reunited with their families.
Their release came laterOn Saturday, when Hamas accused Israel of not adhering to the terms of the ceasefire.
A US source told CBS News that the delay was due to the pace of aid coming into Gaza.
The Associated Press quoted Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official, as saying in Beirut: “This jeopardizes the deal, and we have spoken to mediators about it.”
However, Majid Al-Ansari, spokesman for the Qatari Foreign Ministry, said in a statement that obstacles had been overcome with the help of Qatari and Egyptian mediators, and Hamas finally agreed to release the hostages.
The Israeli Defense Forces confirmed that the hostages were released in A statement On Saturday night, he said that “after undergoing an initial medical evaluation” the hostages “will continue to be accompanied by IDF soldiers as they head to Israeli hospitals, where they will be reunited with their families.”
Al-Ansari revealed that another 39 Palestinians – 33 children and six women – who were imprisoned in Israel were released on Saturday. The liberated prisoners were transferred to the occupied West Bank by the Red Cross, and the first batch of Palestinian prisoners released was transferred on Friday.
National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson told CBS News that President Biden spoke with Qatari leaders by phone several times on Saturday in an attempt to resolve the disruptions.
A White House official described the president, who is spending the Thanksgiving holiday with his family in Nantucket, Massachusetts, as playing a “central role” in the Gaza negotiations.
all of thisAn initial group of 24 hostages held by Hamas were shot on Friday – the first day of the ceasefire – consisting of 13 Israelis, 10 Thai nationals and a Filipino national. The Israeli government said that the ages of the released Israelis ranged from two to 85 years, and among them were several mothers and four children. four hostages, Hamas released two Israelis last month.
Israeli intelligence receives a list of the names of hostages expected to be released in each group before they are handed over. Netanyahu’s office said that the families of the hostages released in the second group on Saturday were notified early on Friday evening.
The ceasefire, which took effect on Friday morning after frantic diplomatic efforts, calls for an end to the fighting and the release of about 50 Hamas hostages, all of them women and children, over the course of four days. In return, 150 Palestinian women and children detained in Israel will be released.
Before the exchange on Friday, Israel estimated that there were about 240 hostages still being held by Hamas. Officials did not clarify on Saturday how many people were still being held.
The four-day ceasefire agreement allows hundreds of aid trucks to enter the devastated Gaza Strip. The United Nations said 200 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid – including food, water and medical supplies – crossed into southern Gaza from Egypt via the Rafah crossing on Friday in the hours after the ceasefire began. The United Nations said four trucks loaded with fuel and four cooking gas tanks were also delivered to Gaza.
Egyptian and Israeli officials said that about 200 aid trucks would enter Gaza daily during the ceasefire.
However, a US source familiar with the ceasefire agreement told CBS News on Saturday that Hamas believes the number of aid trucks that entered Gaza on Friday and Saturday was less than the agreed upon amount, which contributed to Saturday’s confrontation. The source said that the final agreement agreed upon by the two sides was 200 trucks per day, which is less than a previous draft agreement that called for 300 trucks per day.
These supplies have been slow to reach Gazans, who on Saturday waited in endless lines for much-needed aid.
The source added that Hamas is also frustrated by the sequence in which the Palestinian prisoners were released. Those who had been detained longer were supposed to be released first, according to conditions.
Meanwhile, three Americans are expected to be among the 50 set to be released as part of the deal. In total, up to 10 Americans remain missing since the Hamas attack.
Biden said on Friday that the United States does not know when Americans held hostage will be released, or all of their conditions. Among them is a 4-year-old child, whose parents were shot dead by Hamas militants on October 7. On Saturday morning, a senior Biden administration official said they did not expect the American hostages to be released today.
“We are in an early stage of the process that will see the release of at least 50 women and children during the first phase of the agreement,” the official said. “We hope this will include three women and children who are dual citizens, and are US citizens. This will unfold over the coming days. We will not comment on individual cases because the process is ongoing.”
As part of its commitment to the deal, Israel on Friday released a first group of 39 Palestinian prisoners – 24 women and 15 teenage boys. Thousands gathered in the village of Beitunia in the occupied West Bank on Friday to receive them after their release from three Israeli prisons.
The Red Cross supervised their transfer, first to Ofer Prison in the West Bank, then to Beitunia.
Israeli forces had gathered outside Ofer Prison before the exchange, and some Palestinians threw stones at Israeli soldiers. CBS News cameras showed a Palestinian who was shot in the leg with a live bullet before being taken to the ambulance.
Noman Abu Naim told CBS News that his 16-year-old son, Ahmed, was on the list of Palestinian prisoners scheduled to be released on Friday. Naeem said his son was imprisoned for about a year after being arrested on charges of joining the protest.
“Like anyone who was eager to see their son, we were thrilled,” he said of his reaction when he learned of his son’s impending release.
Among the Israeli hostages released on Friday were Doron Katz Asher and her two daughters, ages two and four. They were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz.
Israeli authoritiesAbout a quarter of the residents of Nir Oz, located about a mile and a half from the Gaza border, were either slaughtered or taken hostage by Hamas gunmen on October 7.
“She just broke down in tears,” Dori Roberts, Doron Katz Asher’s cousin, told CBS News Friday. “I had to step away and leave everything behind. It was a very exciting moment.”
The hostages were transported by buses to Israel, where their first stop was a military base for a health assessment, and then by helicopter to Israeli hospitals and their waiting families.
Biden said on Friday that he believes the “opportunities are real” to extend the pause in fighting, and that he remains in contact with the leaders of Qatar, Egypt and Israel “to make sure it stays on track and on all sides.” The agreement will be implemented.”
An hour after the temporary truce on Friday, CBS News cameras captured the moments when Israeli soldiers shot and killed at least two Palestinians in an attempt to prevent them from returning to evacuated northern Gaza.
CBS News producer Marwan al-Ghoul reported that between 4,000 and 5,000 people began the journey north from the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis despite leaflets dropped by the Israel Defense Forces warning them against it. They encountered a line of Israeli tanks at a central Gaza intersection when they were fired upon.
Majid Al-Ansari, spokesman for the Qatari Foreign Ministry, confirmed to reporters on Thursday that while Qatar acts as a mediator between the two sides, Israel and Hamas will have to maintain the principles of the ceasefire agreement.
More than 1,200 people, most of them civilians, were killed by Hamas militants during their invasion of southern Israel on October 7, according to the Israeli military.
The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza says nearly 15,000 people have been killed in Gaza due to retaliatory ground incursions and Israeli air strikes, and the United Nations Estimates 1.7 million of the region’s population of about 2.3 million have been displaced due to the war.
— Margaret Brennan, Lilia Luciano, Imtiaz Tayeb, Tucker Ryals, Elias Lopez, Kaitlin Yelek, Bo Erickson, Khalid Wasif, and Holly Williams contributed to this report.
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