Hamas on Monday released 11 Israeli hostages, comprising nine children and two women, who have now safely arrived in Israel. These individuals, originally from Kibbutz Nir, entered Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Upon arrival, they will undergo a comprehensive health checkup and evaluation at the crossing before heading to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.
Having been in Hamas' custody for 52 days, the released hostages are expected to reunite with their families at Ichilov Hospital. Additionally, Hamas has announced plans to release an additional 20 Israeli hostages on Tuesday, following a two-day extension of the ceasefire.
Despite ongoing negotiations, six Thai hostages remain in captivity, with Hamas refusing their release despite direct interventions by Egyptian and Thai mediators.
The Israeli government had earlier assured the families of the hostages that their loved ones would be freed, ending a period of uncertainty marked by Hamas' conditions for release. Initially, reports suggested that Hamas insisted on separating mothers from children during the release, a stance vehemently opposed by the Israeli government.
High-ranking sources within the Israeli government informed IANS that the release is imminent, and messages have been conveyed to the families whose members are to be freed. The hostages to be released, as per government sources, are primarily nine women and two children from Nir Oz kibbutz.
As the four-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas concludes on Monday, ongoing discussions at the highest levels are exploring the possibility of extending the ceasefire. While Israel advocates for the release of more hostages as a condition for the extension, Hamas is pushing for increased aid truck access from Egypt to Gaza.