Third Round Of Hostages Released During Israel-Hamas Ceasefire

A third round of hostages has been released by Hamas amid the ongoing  ceasefire, with 17 hostages being freed. Of these 17 hostages released by Hamas, 14 are Israelis and nine are minors. One is American. Subsequently, Israel released 39 Palestinian prisoners who were previously held in Israeli jails and prisons.

Of the 17 hostages freed, an 84-year-old woman was airlifted to a hospital. She is said to be in life-threatening condition, as she wasn’t properly taken care of as an elderly woman should be, according to health officials.

Abigail Edan, a 4-year-old Israeli-American citizen, was also released. Edan’s parents were killed in the Hamas terrorist attack on Oct. 7, which also saw more than 1,200 Israelis killed, most of them civilians. During this Oct. 7 attack, about 240 hostages were taken by Hamas.

President Joe Biden spoke about Edan being the first American who was released during this temporary four-day truce. “What she endured was unthinkable,” Biden said.

Three Thai nationals and one Russian-Israeli citizen were also freed by Hamas.

This latest round of hostage releases comes after Saturday’s delay in allowing hostages to be freed. According to Hamas, Israel was not adhering to what they agreed upon, as aid was not being allowed into certain parts of northern Gaza. However, Hamas eventually did release these hostages.

Another hostage exchange is scheduled for Monday, the fourth and last day of the temporary ceasefire. Under the initial halt agreements, Hamas agreed to release 50 hostages. In turn, Israel agreed to release 150 Palestinian prisoners, as well as allow humanitarian aid into all parts of Gaza. Fuel was also to be allowed in.

Other than the delay on Saturday, all parts of this agreement have been met by both sides.

Both the hostages and the Palestinian prisoners to be released under this agreement are women and children, with some exceptions.

This temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is the first halt in fighting since Hamas’ terrorist attack on Oct. 7. After Hamas’ atrocities, Israel quickly began to bomb and attack the Gaza Strip, where Hamas’ headquarters are located, as they vowed they would destroy the terrorist organization.

As a result, more than 14,000 Gazans have reportedly been killed.

Now that this temporary ceasefire will soon be over, many nations — such as Egypt, the U.S., and Qatar — are seeking to extend it. When the news of the terms of the truce first broke, Israel revealed that Hamas would be able to extend the ceasefire by a day at a time, as long as they released 10 hostages a day.

Now, for the first time, Hamas has signaled that they will indeed seek to extend this ceasefire. Hamas says they will release a larger number of hostages in the near future, which will extend this halt in fighting.