Israeli hostage Hila Rotem, 13, has been released but her mom is still a captive. Does the deal allow this?

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Raya and Hila Rotem, a mother and daughter, were captured by Hamas terrorists from the security room of their home on October 7th. Raya, 54, wrote to her brother at 12:05pm that she and her 13-year-old son had been kidnapped and taken to Gaza.

Hila Rotem Shoshani, who was freed in an attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on October 7, was reported by Reuters in 2011. She is seen in this undated handprint image obtained by the Forum for Families of Abductees and Missing Persons/via REUTERS, Nov. 25, 2023.

It was only on October 29 that the two Hamas hostages were confirmed. However, while Hilla was released on November 25 under a temporary ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel brokered by Qatar and the United States, Raya remains in prison, much to the dismay of family members.

Hila’s uncle Yayi and a family friend welcomed her, along with another released baby, Emily Hand. Emily was abducted while visiting Hila’s home in Kibbutz Beeri.

Emily was initially believed to have been murdered. “Emily is back with us! After 50 trying and complicated days, we cannot find words to express our feelings,” her family said in a statement to CBS News.

The Israeli government is now trying to find out why Raya was detained even though her son was released. An Israeli government official told CNN that according to the agreement, mothers and children should not be separated. “This is part of the deal,” the official said. Her whereabouts and what happened to her are unknown.

The second group of 17 hostages abducted by Hamas in the October 7 attack was released on Saturday night, October 25. 39 Palestinian women and children who were held by Israel were also released in exchange. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the release of 13 Israelis and four Thai citizens. Six Israeli women aged 18 to 67 and seven Israeli children aged 3 to 16 were reportedly released.

The hostages were initially handed over to Egypt at the southern Gaza Rafah border by the Red Cross before being taken to Israel. Before being reunited with their families, they underwent medical examinations at hospitals in Israel.

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