Major Breakthrough: Hamas Frees 14 Israeli Captives and Three Foreigners

Major Breakthrough: Hamas Frees 14 Israeli Captives and Three Foreigners

In a landmark move, 14 Israeli captives and three foreign nationals have been released by Hamas. The Israeli military has verified that the Red Cross has received these hostages from Hamas.

The group of released hostages includes Abigail Mor Edan, a four-year-old Israeli-American girl. She was one of the three US hostages and was reportedly among the 17 individuals freed on Sunday.

This release is a part of an agreement between Israel and Hamas. According to the agreement, 50 Israeli hostages in Gaza will be released over a span of four days. In return, 150 Palestinian prisoners will be freed and there will be a pause in Israeli military operations.

A senior US official confirmed the deal, stating that the hostages to be freed would include three Americans, one of whom is a three-year-old girl. The official also mentioned that the first release of hostages is expected on Thursday morning and the total number of hostages released could increase.

US President Joe Biden expressed his gratitude towards Egypt and Qatar for their crucial role in reaching the deal. He also appreciated the commitment shown by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government in supporting an extended pause to ensure the successful execution of this deal and to provide additional humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering of innocent Palestinian families in Gaza.

The senior US official further added that the deal has been structured to encourage releases beyond 50, with an expectation for further releases.

The Israeli prime minister’s office announced that for every 10 additional hostages released, the “lull” in Israeli military operations would be extended for an extra day. However, the commencement date of the ceasefire has not been specified. In his address to his cabinet, Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the first hostages should be free within 48 hours of the agreement.

This development has instilled hope in the hearts of the families of the hostages and is viewed as a significant stride towards peace in the region.