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Hamas frees third group of hostages – DW – 11/26/2023

todayNovember 26, 2023 6

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Relatives of the Israeli hostages that have been captive in Gaza Strip by Hamas stage a demonstration in Tel Aviv, Israel on November 25, 2023.
Relatives of the Israeli hostages organized a demonstration in Tel Aviv on Saturday eveningImage: Yair Palti/Anadolu/picture alliance

After a tense delay on Saturday evening, and amid a major demonstration in Tel Aviv calling for all Israeli hostages to be released by Hamas, the second stage of four planned days of exchanges ultimately went through. 

One of the 13 Israeli citizens to be released was 21-year-old Maya Regev, who had been at the Supernova music festival when she was kidnapped. Her 18-year-old brother is still being held hostage by Hamas, which her mother alluded to when acknowledging her release. 

“My heart is split because my son, Itay, is still in Hamas’ captivity in Gaza,” Mirit Regev said in a statement released by the Hostage and Missing Families Forum that’s representing the families. 

Israel: Thousands rally to call for release of all hostages

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Three other hostages released on Saturday left a parent still in Hamas captivity. 

The youngest hostage to be freed Saturday, 3-year-old Yahel Shoham, was released along with her 8-year-old brother, Nave, and mother, Adi, without the family’s father, Tal Shoham, who remains in Hamas captivity. The family was abducted from Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7. 

Another hostage, 12-year-old Hila Rotem was released without her mother, Raya.

Rotem was kidnapped on October 7 together with 9-year-old Israeli-Irish dual national Emily Hand, who was also released Saturday. 

Hand was initially feared killed in Hamas’ October 7 attack, but was later added to the hostage list. 

“We are overjoyed to embrace Emily again, but at the same time, we remember Raya Rotem and all the hostages who have yet to return,” Hand’s family said in a statement. 

Irish Taoiseac (or prime minister) Leo Varadkar also welcomed Emily’s release on social media. 

Four of the Israeli hostages freed on Saturday were German dual nationals.

Hamas also released four Thai nationals, following on from 10 freed the previous day. 

Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said they were in good health given the circumstances. 

“Everyone is glad to be released. Overall, mental health is still good,” he said in a social media post. He also said that they could walk and talk normally, and that they wanted a shower and to contact their families. 

Daughter of Israeli hostage still held by Hamas speaks to DW

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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