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Hamas releases hostages after accusing Israel of truce violations

After a seven-hour delay, Hamas turned over 13 Israeli prisoners and four Thai nationals to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), citing violations by Israel of the terms of the truce.

On Saturday, the second day of the ceasefire in hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians, the impasse was broken through mediation by Qatar and Egypt.

It is currently anticipated that Israel will free 39 Palestinian detainees from its facilities.

Majed al-Ansari, a spokesperson for Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a post on X that 13 Israelis and four foreign nationals had been handed over to the ICRC. They were on their way to the Rafah border crossing between southern Gaza and Egypt before travelling to Israel.

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The 17 captives had arrived in Israel, the Israeli Army posted on X.

“After undergoing an initial medical assessment, they will continue to be accompanied by IDF [Israeli Army] soldiers as they make their way to Israeli hospitals, where they will be reunited with their families,” it said.

The Israeli captives included six adult women and seven children and teenagers, according to a statement from the Israeli prime minister’s office. The hostages were released after spending 50 days in captivity, it said.

Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan had said earlier that the aid deliveries permitted by Israel had fallen short of what had been promised and were not reaching northern Gaza, which was the target of Israel’s offensive.

Only 65 of 340 aid trucks that had entered Gaza since Friday had reached northern Gaza, which was “less than half of what Israel agreed on”, Hamdan said from Beirut.

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