Israel is reviewing the list containing the hostages to be released today, following yesterday’s successful transfer of 23 hostages held by Hamas militants to Egypt via the Rafah border crossing, according to Reuters.
Yesterday was the first day of the ceasefire agreed upon between Israel and Hamas and 23 hostages were released as planned, including 13 Israelis, 10 Thais and a Philippine national. The group of Israelis included women and children, while the Thais were farm workers. They were accompanied across the border by eight staff members of the International Red Cross and the Israelis were then transferred to their country where they underwent medical checks.
The ceasefire has also been used to evacuate health workers and patients from the hospital system in Gaza which has all but collapsed.
Statements by the Palestine Red Crescent Society said that, as per the agreement, 196 trucks of humanitarian aid crossed into Gaza on Friday, carrying humanitarian water, food and medical supplies.
The release of the hostages, following the ceasefire which took hold on Friday, raised hopes that the two sides could reach an agreement for a more concrete deal to end the bloodshed in the Gaza enclave, including by US President Joe Biden, but both parties have stated that they intend to continue hostilities after the end of the truce.
The Islamist terrorist group Hamas launched a surprise attack against Israel on October 7th, crossing the fences in a planned military operation and massacred around 1,200 innocent civilians, according to Israeli tallies.
Israel responded by unleashing a barrage of bombs on Gaza, followed by a ground campaign in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military’s response drew harsh criticism, as many pundits said it used disproportionate force. Palestinian health authorities estimate that 14,000 Gazans, 40pct of which are children, have been killed in Israel’s counter attack.