Hamas released 13 Israeli hostages on Friday, including 10 Thai farm workers, and one Filipino which were part of a separate deal in Qatari mediation efforts. Subsequently, 24 Palestinian women and 15 teenagers were freed from Israeli prisons.
Hamas is expected to release a second group of 14 Israelis on Saturday as part of a four-day truce facilitating the exchange of 50 Palestinian prisoners. Egyptian security sources reported receiving the names of 14 Israeli women and children from Hamas, awaiting further details on the handover. Israeli security officials were reviewing the list, but the Prime Minister’s office did not confirm the number or timing of the expected release yet. In compliance with a Qatari-brokered accord, Israeli prison authorities were also preparing to release 42 Palestinian prisoners. The truce, the first break in the seven-week war, outlines the staged release of 50 hostages held by Hamas in exchange for 150 Palestinian detained in Israeli jails.
The situation remains fluid as efforts to secure the safe return of hostages continue, with both sides adhering to the terms of the truce, fostering a tentative atmosphere of hope amid the long-standing conflict.