KHAN YOUNIS (Gaza Strip) – Hamas is expected to exchange more of its hostages on Saturday with prisoners held by Israel on the second day of a ceasefire that has allowed vital humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip and given civilians their first respite. Seven weeks of war.
On the first day of Four-day ceasefireHamas released 24 of about 240 hostages taken during its operations October 7 attack Against Israel, which ignited the war, and Israel released 39 Palestinians from prisons. Those released from captivity in Gaza are 13 Israelis. 10 Thai citizens and two Filipino citizens.
During the four days, Hamas will release at least 50 Israeli hostages, and Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners.
Israel said the hoax could be extended by an additional day for every 10 additional hostages released – something US President Joe Biden has said he hopes will happen.
The beginning of the trick on Friday morning brought the first calm to about 2.3 million Palestinians reeling and desperate from the continuous Israeli bombing that has claimed the lives of thousands. It is led by three-quarters of the population From their homes and Flat residential areas. The firing of rockets by Gaza activists into Israel also stopped.
The United Nations said that the pause enabled it to expand the scope of deliveries of food, water and medicine to the largest volume since the resumption of humanitarian aid convoys on October 21. It was also able to deliver 129,000 liters (34,078 gallons) of fuel. – A little more than 10% of the volume of daily consumption before the war – in addition to cooking gas, which is the first time since the start of the war.
In the southern city of Khan Yunis on Saturday, a long line of people carrying gas canisters and other containers waited outside a filling station hoping to get some newly delivered fuel.
For the first time in more than a month, aid has reached northern Gaza, the epicenter of the Israeli ground offensive. A UN convoy delivered flour to two facilities housing people displaced by the fighting.
The United Nations said that it and the Palestine Red Crescent Society were also able to evacuate 40 patients and their family members from a hospital in Gaza City, where most of the fighting took place, to a hospital in Khan Yunis.
However, the relief that the ceasefire brought to both sides – among Israelis – was tempered by the fact that it did Not all hostages will be released And among the Palestinians due to the short duration of the pause. The short truce leaves Gaza mired in a humanitarian crisis and under threat that fighting may resume soon.
Israel vowed to resume its large-scale attack as soon as the truth is over. This has clouded hopes that the deal would eventually help end the crisis conflict, Who fed him Escalation of violence in the occupied West Bank It raised fears of a broader conflagration across the Middle East.
The first hostages were released
After Friday night, a line of ambulances left Gaza through the Rafah crossing into Egypt, carrying the freed hostages. Among the liberated Israelis were nine women and four children aged 9 or younger.
The released hostages were transferred to three Israeli hospitals for observation. Schneider Children’s Medical Center said it was treating eight Israelis — four children and four women — and all of them appeared to be in good physical condition. The center said they were also receiving psychological treatment, adding that “these are sensitive moments” for the families.
In a square dubbed “Hostage Square” in Tel Aviv, a crowd of Israelis celebrated on the news.
Yael Adar spotted her mother, 85-year-old Yaffa Adar, on a television newscast about the release, and was thrilled to see her walking. “This was a big concern, what would happen to her health during these almost two months,” she told Israel’s Channel 12.
But Yael’s son, Tamir Adar, 38, remained in captivity. They were kidnapped on October 7 from Kibbutz Nir Oz. “Everyone needs to come back. “It’s happiness trapped in sadness.”
The hostages included multiple generations. Nine-year-old Ohad Munder Zakri was released along with his mother, Keren Munder, and grandmother, Ruti Munder. The fourth-grader was kidnapped during a holiday visit to his grandparents on the kibbutz, from where about 80 people – nearly a quarter of the small community’s entire population – are believed to have been kidnapped.
The plight of the hostages has angered some families at the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu He wasn’t doing enough To bring them home.
Hours later, 24 Palestinian women and 15 teenage boys were released from Israeli prisons in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. In the town of Beitunia in the West Bank, hundreds of Palestinians They came out of their homes to celebrateHorns sounded and fireworks lit up the night sky.
Teenagers were imprisoned for minor crimes such as throwing stones. The women include many convicted of attempting to stab Israeli soldiers, and others who were arrested at checkpoints in the West Bank.
“As a Palestinian, my heart is broken for my brothers in Gaza, so I can’t really celebrate,” Abdul Qader Al-Khatib told a worker whose 17-year-old son, Iyas, was released. “But I am a father. And deep down, I am very happy.”
Eyas was transferred to “administrative detention” in 2022 without charges or trial and based on secret evidence. Israel often Detainees are held for months without being charged. Human rights groups say most of those on trial appear before military courts that never acquit the accused and often do not follow due process.
According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, an advocacy group, Israel currently detains 7,200 Palestinians, including about 2,000 who have been arrested since the beginning of the war.
To a longer peace?
The war broke out when several thousand Hamas fighters broke out Invasion of southern IsraelAs a result, about 1,200 people were killed, most of them civilians, and dozens of hostages were taken, including children, women, and the elderly, as well as soldiers.
Majid Al Ansari, spokesman for the Qatari Foreign Ministry, said the hope is that the momentum generated by the deal will lead to an end to the violence. Qatar was like Mediator alongside the United States and Egypt.
But hours before the decision took effect, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant informed the forces that the respite granted to them would be short and that the war would resume with intensity for at least another two months.
Netanyahu also pledged to continue the war to destroy Hamas’ military capabilities, end its 16-year rule in Gaza, and return all hostages.
The Israeli attack led to the deaths of more than 13,300 Palestinians, according to the report Ministry of Health In the Hamas government in Gaza. Women and minors consistently make up about two-thirds of the dead, although the latest number is not detailed. The figure does not include updated numbers from hospitals in the north, where Communications have collapsed.
The ministry says there are fears that about 6,000 people may be missing Buried under rubble. The ministry does not differentiate between civilians and militants in the death toll.
Israel says it has killed thousands of Hamas fighters without providing evidence of its count.
He rose from Bangkok, and Magdy from Cairo.
Complete AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.