Israel and Hamas prepare to exchange more captives amid extended cease-fire deal


TEL AVIV, Israel – On Tuesday, the first day of a 48-hour ceasefire extension in Gaza, Hamas agreed to release more Israeli hostages in return for dozens of Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

In the final hours of the first four-day truce, scheduled to end on Monday, Qatar, Egypt and the US said they had agreed to extend the deal until at least Wednesday if Hamas freed at least 10 Israeli hostages each day. In the attack on Israel last month. In the year About 240 hostages were taken in the Oct. 7 attack, which Israeli officials said killed 1,200 people.

On Monday, there were more scenes of joy – from Palestinian families whose sons and daughters were both released from Israeli prisons, and Israelis who welcomed 11 women, children and teenagers home after 52 days of captivity. In total, 33 Palestinian prisoners were released after Hamas handed over 11 Israeli hostages.

Among the Palestinians freed on Monday was 16-year-old Nufut Hamad from the city of Jenin, north of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Hamad was sentenced to 12 years in prison two weeks ago for stabbing his neighbor. She spent two years in prison awaiting trial.

Many of the Israelis were evacuated from the Nir Oz single kibbutz, one of the hardest hit by the Hamas attack on October 7. They are two women, two teenagers and four other children and teenagers, the oldest 18.

The list of prisoners to be released on Tuesday has been changed

Israel has approved a list of 50 Palestinian prisoners scheduled to be released, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. Israel has released a list of 10 hostages it expects Hamas to release on the first day of the extended ceasefire, according to Israeli media.

So far, each prisoner-prisoner exchange has observed the formula of three Palestinians for every Israeli hostage, and this arrangement is expected to continue in the coming days. So far, 50 Israeli hostages have been freed and 19 foreign prisoners – 17 Thais, Filipinos and two Russian-Israeli nationals – have been released outside the framework of the agreement.

The United Nations says three-quarters of Gaza’s population has been displaced by the war.

While the pause in the war would be beneficial for the exchange of more prisoners, it would allow much-needed aid to reach Gaza after seven weeks of Israeli airstrikes and ground offensives to destroy Hamas. At least 13,300 Palestinians have been killed since the war began, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the fighting, which took effect early Friday, was “largely contained” until Monday.

“It has enabled humanitarian actors, mainly the Egyptian and Palestinian Red Crescent Societies and UN agencies, to increase the delivery of aid in and across Gaza,” OCHA said in an update on the situation.

On Monday, UNRWA, the UN aid agency that oversees the Palestinian territories, and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society announced that aid trucks had arrived in northern Gaza, where most of the fighting is concentrated.

“The aid includes medical supplies, ready-to-eat foods, wheat flour, bottled water, tents and blankets for further distribution to four UNRWA shelters and three main warehouses,” Ochae said.

The United Nations says three-quarters of Gaza’s 2.2 million people have been displaced by the conflict.

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