News

Israel-Hamas war live: third group of Israeli hostages held by Hamas set to be released today in exchange for Palestinian prisoners | Israel-Hamas war

todayNovember 26, 2023 4

Background
share close


List of third group of hostages set for release goes to Netanyahu’s office

Hamas fighters were set on Sunday to release a third group of Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, a day after freeing 17 captives.

The office of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it had received a list of the hostages due to be released, Agence France-Presse reports.

The list was being checked by security officials, it said, and families of the hostages had been informed.

In a sign of the fragility of the exchanges, the last swap – on Saturday – delayed for hours after Hamas accused Israel of breaching its side of the deal that led to a four-day ceasefire.

Despite the dispute, Hamas released 13 Israelis and four Thai hostages late that night, officials said. Israel said it in turn freed 39 Palestinian prisoners.

Key events

A Palestinian farmer was killed and another injured on Sunday after they were targeted by Israeli forces in the Maghazi refugee camp in the centre of Gaza, Reuters reports. It cited the Palestinan Red Crescent Society.

Lisa O’Carroll

Ireland has breathed a “massive sigh of relief” after nine year old Dublin-born hostage Emily Hand was release from Gaza, the taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.

“Emily has come back to us,” her father said as Emily rushed into his embrace in an Israel hospital last night as part of a deal that

“We can’t find the words to describe our emotions after 50 challenging and complicated days,” her family said in a statement.

The little girl was on a sleep over in a friend’s house in kibbutz Be’eri, one of the communities worst hit by last month’s Hamas attack, when she was abducted.

Her friend Hila Rotem, 13, was also released last night but her mother, Raya Rotem, 54, is still being held captive.

Irish-Israeli girl Emily Hand, who was abducted by Hamas gunmen during the 7 October attack on Israel, meets her father Thomas Hand after being released.
Irish-Israeli girl Emily Hand, who was abducted by Hamas gunmen during the 7 October attack on Israel, meets her father Thomas Hand after being released. Photograph: Israel Defense Forces/Reuters

Varadkar said: “An innocent girl who was lost has now been found and returned, and our country breathes a massive sigh of relief.

“For her family, these seven weeks have been a slow and cruel torture. We hope she will soon heal and recover from the traumatic experience in the loving embrace of her family,” he said.

His deputy Micheál Martin said that “after weeks of trauma” last night was a “precious and deeply moving moment” for Emily and her family.

Varadkar’s comment that the girl was “lost” has been criticised by Israel’s foreign minister for downplaying the fact that she was abducted.

Here are some further comments that have been released from Israel’s chief of staff, Gen Herzi Halevi. While speaking to troops he said that “we will return to our operations with determination” when the current pause in fighting finishes, in order to force “the continued release of the hostages and the complete dismantlement of Hamas”.

He also said:

I met many of you at the end of long hours of fighting both above and underground, facing complex challenges. In every encounter, I saw reflected in your eyes the magnitude of the moment, the fighting spirit and determination to achieve all the objectives of the war. I heard you tell me: ‘We want to fight until we return the hostages.’ And so we are doing just that.

Haaretz is reporting that Maya Regev, a released hostage that Hamas had seized durings its assault on the Supernova music festival, “will need to undergo surgery in the future”. It quotes the director of Soroka Medical Centre, where she has been taken, saying “we expect her to make a full recovery”. There were no further details.

Israel’s military has issued a statement about its activity in Jenin in the occupied West Bank overnight. In a post to social media, it said:

In the operation commanded by the 646th Reserve Brigade, five terrorists were eliminated, 21 wanted persons were arrested, a cargo laboratory was destroyed and an aircraft attacked from the air an armed terrorist squad that endangered the IDF forces.

The claims have not been independently verified.

Associated Press reports that Israeli forces operating in the occupied West Bank killed at least eight Palestinians in a 24-hour period, according to Palestinian health officials. [See 6.54am GMT]

The Palestinian Health Ministry said that five Palestinians were killed in Jenin, while three others were killed in separate areas of the West Bank since Saturday morning. One of those killed, in al-Bireh in the central West Bank, was a teenager, the ministry said.

The Israeli military said forces entered the Jenin refugee camp to arrest a Palestinian suspected of killing an Israeli father and son at a West Bank car wash earlier in the year. In its statement Sunday, the military made no mention of clashes, nor of the Palestinian deaths, but said forces were still operating in the area.

Palestinians walk on a damaged road after an Israeli army operation in Jenin refugee camp, 26 November.
Palestinians walk on a damaged road after an Israeli army operation in Jenin refugee camp, 26 November. Photograph: Majdi Mohammed/AP

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said Israeli snipers were positioned on roofs and that military bulldozers were damaging roads and infrastructure. The reports could not immediately be independently verified.

The tense diplomatic relations between Israel and Ireland have continued this morning, with Israel’s foreign minister Eli Cohen aiming criticism at taoiseach Leo Varadkar, accusing him of losing his “moral compass” and “connection to reality”.

Varadkar had posted about the return of Emily Hand. Hand had initially been thought dead, and her family mourned for her, before it became clear she was being held in Gaza. Overnight Varadkar had written:

This is a day of enormous joy and relief for Emily Hand and her family. An innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned, and we breathe a massive sigh of relief. Our prayers have been answered.

This is a day of enormous joy and relief for Emily Hand and her family. An innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned, and we breathe a massive sigh of relief.  Our prayers have been answered.

— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) November 25, 2023

In a response this morning, Cohen has said:

Amelie Hand is not lost, maybe you have lost your moral compass and your connection to reality. Amelie Hand was kidnapped by a terrorist organisation worse than Islamic State after her stepmother was murdered. Amelie and over 30 other Israeli children were kidnapped by Hamas, and you are trying to legitimise it. Shame on you!

אדוני ראש הממשלה,
אמלי הנד לא נאבדה, אולי אתה איבדת את המצפן המוסרי שלך ואת הקשר למציאות.
אמלי הנד נחטפה על ידי ארגון טרור הגרוע מדאעש אחרי שאמא החורגת נרצחה.
אמלי ועוד למעלה מ-30 ילדים ישראלים נחטפו ע״י חמאס, ואתה מנסה לתת לגיטימציה.
תתבייש! https://t.co/CD5wIZKkTQ

— אלי כהן | Eli Cohen (@elicoh1) November 26, 2023

Emily Hand had her ninth birthday as a hostage in Gaza, the day before she was reunited with her father. She appeared in good health in a photograph released with fellow hostage Hila Rotem, whose mother remains in Gaza.

“We can’t find the words to describe our emotions after 50 challenging and complicated days,” her family said in a statement. “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.”

The Israeli military’s Arabic-language spokesperson has posted to social media a quote from Gen Herzi Halevy, the chief of general staff of the IDF. In the post, Halevy says:

The IDF fights valiantly and preserves the lives of its members and the values ​​of the IDF. We were able to create conditions for the political process to release children and mothers. With the completion of the implementation of that path, we will return to fighting with full determination, with the aim of resuming the release of the abductees and dismantling Hamas.

#عاجل رئيس الأركان الجنرال هرتسي هاليفي في رسالة الى جنود جيش الدفاع وقادته: جيش الدفاع يحارب ببسالة ويحافظ على حياة أفراده وقيم جيش الدفاع. لقد تمكنّا من خلق ظروف للمسار السياسي للافراج عن الأطفال والامهات. مع استكمال تطبيق ذلك المسار سنعود للقتال بكامل الاصرار بهدف استئناف… pic.twitter.com/Nr6rxTfwtf

— افيخاي ادرعي (@AvichayAdraee) November 26, 2023

The 17 hostages freed by Hamas late on Saturday included Maya Regev, the first of the hostages taken from the Supernova music festival to be released since Hamas fighters swooped on the event during their attack on southern Israel on 7 October, Agence France-Presse reports.

Regev, 21, and her 18-year-old brother Itay, who was also abducted from the festival, were shown tied up in the back of a pick-up truck in a video posted on social media after the attack.

“I am so excited and happy that Maya is on her way to us now,” her mother, Mirit, said in a statement released by the hostage families’ forum.

Nonetheless, my heart is split because my son Itay is still in Hamas captivity in Gaza.

Maya Regev in an undated photo
Maya Regev in an undated photo. Photograph: Hostages and Missing Families Forum/AP

An Israeli police investigation into the Hamas attack on the music festival updated the death toll earlier this month to 364, according to Israeli media reports.

That figure would make up nearly one-third of all of those killed during the 7 October onslaught, the Times of Israel reported, citing Channel 12.

Earlier counts had placed the death count from the Supernova attack in Kibbutz Re’im at 270.

Israeli police reportedly believe that Hamas did not know about the festival before carrying out the attack.

The women of the Munder family, Ruti and Keren, knew that after everything that had already been taken from them, they could not afford to lose track of time.

So while they were held captive in Gaza with Keren’s nine-year-old son, Ohad, they counted the days as they dragged slowly into weeks and then a second month.

“They said that they tried to memorise the days,” said Rony Raviv, niece of Ruti, 78, and cousin to Keren.

They always knew what day it was, and what the date was. They knew that they were there for 49 days. They were together the whole time.

Raviv spoke to her relatives on the phone on Friday, hours after they were released as part of a temporary ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas.

Ohad’s emotional reunion with his father east of Tel Aviv on Friday has been posted online. Ohad, who turned nine in captivity, also spoke to a friend on Friday evening, and other friends planned to visit him on Saturday, Raviv said.

But all the newly released hostages were at the start of a difficult recovery. “They’re still in shock, all of them,” Raviv said.

For the rest of this report from Emine Sinmaz and Emma Graham-Harrison on how hostages’ relatives are glimpsing what their loved ones endured as first words are exchanged after their release, see here:

List of third group of hostages set for release goes to Netanyahu’s office

Hamas fighters were set on Sunday to release a third group of Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, a day after freeing 17 captives.

The office of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it had received a list of the hostages due to be released, Agence France-Presse reports.

The list was being checked by security officials, it said, and families of the hostages had been informed.

In a sign of the fragility of the exchanges, the last swap – on Saturday – delayed for hours after Hamas accused Israel of breaching its side of the deal that led to a four-day ceasefire.

Despite the dispute, Hamas released 13 Israelis and four Thai hostages late that night, officials said. Israel said it in turn freed 39 Palestinian prisoners.

Israeli forces shoot dead two Palestinians in West Bank, says Palestinian ministry

Two Palestinians were shot dead by the Israeli occupation forces in Nablus and Jenin early on Sunday, the Palestinian health ministry said, bringing to six the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank overnight, Reuters reports.

Seventeen freed hostages arrive in Israel as 39 Palestinian prisoners released

Thirteen Israelis and four Thai nationals arrived in Israel on Sunday in the second release of hostages from Hamas captivity in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in a deal briefly endangered by a dispute about aid delivery into Gaza.

Reuters reports the dispute was overcome by the mediation of Egypt and Qatar but that it threatened the truce to free captives, underscoring the fragility of the pact meant to release 50 hostages held by the Palestinian militant group and 150 prisoners held in Israeli jails over four days.

Television images showed hostages on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing after leaving Gaza, as Hamas handed the hostages to the International Committee of the Red Cross late on Saturday.

Six of the 13 Israelis released were women and seven were children and teenagers.

“The released hostages are on their way to hospitals in Israel, where they will reunite with their families,” the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said in a statement.

Irish-Israeli girl Emily Hand, who was abducted by Hamas gunmen, is reunited with her father at an undisclosed location in Israel after being released in the exchange deal
Irish-Israeli girl Emily Hand, who was abducted by Hamas gunmen, is reunited with her father at an undisclosed location in Israel after being released in the exchange deal. Photograph: Israel Defence Forces/Reuters

Israel released 39 Palestinians – six women and 33 minors – from two prisons, the Palestinian news agency Wafa said.

Some of the Palestinians arrived at Al-Bireh municipality square in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where thousands of citizens awaited them, a Reuters witness said.

A Palestinian official familiar with the diplomatic moves said Hamas would continue the truce, the first halt in fighting since Hamas’ deadly rampage through southern Israel on 7 October.

Opening summary

Welcome to the Guardian’s live coverage of the Israel-Hamas war with me, Adam Fulton. The top developments this morning:

Thirteen Israelis and four Thai nationals released from Hamas captivity arrived in Israel on Sunday in the second step of a crucial hostage deal, which briefly risked falling apart due to a dispute over the delivery of aid supplies into Gaza.

Television footage showed hostages on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing after leaving Gaza, as Hamas handed over the captives to the International Committee of the Red Cross late on Saturday, Reuters reports. Of the 13 Israelis released, six were women and seven were children and teenagers.

An International Red Cross vehicle reportedly carrying hostages released by Hamas driving towards the Rafah border point with Egypt ahead of their transfer to Israel late on Saturday
An International Red Cross vehicle reportedly carrying hostages released by Hamas driving towards the Rafah border point with Egypt ahead of their transfer to Israel late on Saturday. Photograph: Belal Al Sabbagh/AFPTV/AFP/Getty Images

Meanwhile, a bus carrying nearly three dozen Palestinian prisoners released by Israel arrived in the West Bank early on Sunday. Hundreds of people greeted the Red Cross bus as it arrived in Al Bireh, Associated Press reported. Crowds chanted “God is great” on the arrival, while many chanted pro-Hamas slogans and held Hamas flags.

Palestinian prisoners are welcomed in Ramallah, West Bank, after being released by Israel
Palestinian prisoners are welcomed in Ramallah, West Bank, after being released by Israel. Photograph: Anadolu/Getty Images

More on that story soon. In other key developments as it turns 8.15am in Gaza City and Tel Aviv:

  • The UN said 61 trucks carrying medical supplies, food and water had delivered their payloads in the northern Gaza Strip as the pause in fighting allows aid to enter the territory. Another 200 trucks had been dispatched to Gaza from Nitzana in Israel, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Saturday, with 187 of them having made it past the border by the early evening local time.

  • Israeli troops killed six Palestinians in the occupied West Bank on Saturday, the Palestinian ministry of health said. A 25-year-old doctor was killed early in the morning outside his home in Qabatiya, near Jenin, it said. Another Palestinian was killed in el-Bireh, near Ramallah. Four people were also killed by Israeli army fire in Jenin, during an incursion by a large number of armoured vehicles into the town. Witnesses told Agence France-Presse on Saturday that the Israeli army was surrounding Jenin’s public hospital and the Ibn Sina clinic, and that soldiers were searching ambulances. They also reported heavy fighting with automatic weapons.

  • The UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon said Israeli fire hit one of its patrols in the country’s south on Saturday, despite the Hamas-Israel truce largely quietening the Lebanon-Israel frontier. Around noon, a Unifil patrol was hit by Israeli military gunfire in the vicinity of Aitarun, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon said. “No peacekeepers were injured, but the vehicle was damaged.”

  • Egypt said on Saturday it had received positive signals from all parties over a possible extension of the Gaza truce for one or two days, Reuters reported. Diaa Rashwan, the head of Egypt’s State Information Service, said the country was holding extensive talks with all parties to reach an agreement over extending the four-day ceasefire, which “means the release of more detainees in Gaza and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails”.

  • The number of Thai nationals believed to be held hostage by Hamas has increased by two, Thailand’s ministry of foreign affairs has said. This means that, after Saturday’s release of four more Thai hostages, a further 18 Thai nationals are still being held by Hamas.

  • The body of a Tanzanian student who went missing in Israel after the bloody Hamas attack last month was due to be returned home on Sunday, his family said. Clemence Felix Mtenga, 22, was one of two Tanzanians reported missing after the 7 October attack.

  • In the UK, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of London on Saturday to call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza in the latest major demonstration in the capital. Police were handing out leaflets to provide “absolute clarity” on what would be deemed an offence. It came after weeks of pressure on the force over the handling of the now-regular demonstrations.





Source link

Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

Rate it

Electro Music Newsletter

Don't miss a beat

Sign up for the latest electronic news and special deals

EMAIL ADDRESS*

    By signing up, you understand and agree that your data will be collected and used subject to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

    0%