Following the Qatar-mediated agreement, the Israel Defense Forces have confirmed the safe return of thirteen Israeli hostages released by Hamas. This group, which included ten Thais and one Filipino national, was picked up by the Red Cross in Gaza and subsequently transferred into Egypt via the Rafah border crossing.
The release of these hostages is part of a broader deal brokered by Qatar, encompassing the release of 39 Palestinian detainees from Israeli jails on the same day. As per the terms of the agreement, a total of 50 hostages and 150 Palestinian detainees are set to be released over a four-day period during the temporary ceasefire.
The humanitarian efforts also extend to increased aid for Gaza, with 60 lorries carrying essential medical supplies, fuel, and food entering from Egypt today.
The temporary ceasefire and the concurrent release of hostages and detainees mark a positive step forward in the midst of the conflict. However, the region continues to grapple with the aftermath of the violence initiated by Hamas on October 7, resulting in the loss of 1,200 lives and the abduction of approximately 240 individuals. Since then, Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry reports that over 14,000 people have lost their lives in Israel’s retaliatory campaign.