“Dand according to information received from the Red Cross, the hostages are currently on their way to the Rafah crossing in the Gaza Strip,” said the same source.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, the country mediating the agreement, had announced today that a second release of 13 Israeli hostages, seven more foreigners, and 39 Palestinian prisoners would take place.
After several hours of delay, Qatar confirmed that the Islamist group Hamas would release 13 Israeli hostages, plus four foreigners – as opposed to the seven initially announced – and that Israel would release 39 Palestinian prisoners.
Among those released from Israeli prisons are “33 children and six women”, while the Israeli prisoners released by Hamas are eight children and five women, in addition to the four foreigners, about whom he did not give details.
“After a delay in implementing the release of prisoners on both sides, obstacles have been overcome through communications between Qatar and Egypt with both sides, and tonight 39 Palestinian civilians will be released in exchange for the release of 13 Israeli hostages of Gaza”, said Majed al Ansari, spokesman for the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which mediated the agreement, on his official account on X (formerly Twitter).
Hamas postponed the handover of a second batch of hostages and accused Israel of violating the terms of the agreement they reached regarding the entry of humanitarian aid and the release of high-ranking Palestinian prisoners.
After several hours of silence following Hamas’ announcement, the Israeli government reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu carried out this afternoon “an assessment of the situation with all security elements to verify whether the second phase is proceeding as planned.”
According to Hebrew media, Israel threatened the Islamist group to resume its military offensive in Gaza if it did not release the second group of prisoners by midnight.
The parties agreed this week, with mediation from Egypt, Qatar and the US, to exchange 50 Israeli hostages for 150 Palestinian prisoners during a four-day truce and to allow 200 humanitarian aid trucks to enter the Gaza Strip per day. .
The Islamist group lamented that the aid that arrived in the north of the Gaza Strip was “much lower than agreed”, accused Israel of not having met the seniority criterion when releasing 39 prisoners yesterday; and having violated the truce by shooting dead two Gazans who were trying to visit their homes in the north of the enclave during a lull in the fighting.
On October 7, fighters from the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) – in power in the Gaza Strip since 2007 and classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Israel – carried out an attack on Israeli territory of unprecedented dimensions since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, leaving 1,200 dead, mostly civilians, around 5,000 injured and more than 200 hostages.
In retaliation, Israel declared a war to “eradicate” Hamas, which began with cuts to food, water, electricity and fuel supplies in the Gaza Strip and daily bombings, followed by a ground offensive that surrounded Gaza City.
The war between Israel and Hamas has so far left more than 14,000 dead in the Gaza Strip, mostly civilians, and more than 30,000 injured, according to the most recent report from local authorities.
According to the United Nations, the war has already displaced 1.7 million people in Gaza.
[Notícia atualizada às 22h31]
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