A number of captives held in Gaza as part of the four-day truce and swap arrangement with Israel were freed by Hamas on Friday. 24 hostages, including 13 Israelis, 12 Thai nationals, and 1 Filipino, are reportedly among the hostages that Hamas has sent to the International Red Cross. After the strike on October 7 that claimed 1,200 Israeli lives, Hamas has taken 240 prisoners in total.
The seventh week of Israel vs. Hamas’s battle began. Israel’s retaliatory strikes have claimed the lives of nearly 15,000 people, many of them are youngsters, according to the health ministry in Gaza, which is governed by Hamas.
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- Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant on Friday remarked, “There will be a short pause and then we will continue operating with full military power. We will not stop until we achieve our goals: the destruction of Hamas and bringing home the hostages from Gaza to Israel – there are 240 hostages and it is something we cannot accept and cannot tolerate”.
- Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas, claims that his organization is “committed” to the ceasefire and captive exchange “as long as Israel is committed as well.”
- Concurrently, the foreign ministry of Qatar said on Friday that 39 women and children who had been held in Israeli prisons had been released.
- The Israeli forces left the Al-Shifa hospital on Friday as the cease-fire agreement came into effect, according to the Gaza health ministry, which is managed by Hamas. But the individuals who remained at the hospital were housed in a damaged facility whose “main generator is destroyed along with numerous buildings,” the ministry continued.
- A World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson on Friday addressed the issues faced by people trapped in the Al-Shifa hospital. “We’re extremely concerned about the safety of the estimated 100 patients and health workers remaining at Al Shifa,” added WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier.