Israeli-Palestinian War: Hamas Fighters Hand Over 13 Abducted Israeli Hostages To Red Cross On First Day Of Ceasefire

Thirteen Israeli hostages abducted by Hamas have now been transferred to the Red Cross, according to Israel TV stations, as part of a broader four-day truce deal.

The exchange took place at roughly 4:30 p.m. local time, after a humanitarian pause in fighting was implemented at 7 a.m. earlier on Friday, under the terms of the same agreement, CNBC Reports.

It was initially disclosed that the Friday swap would see 13 captives released by Hamas in exchange for the freedom of 24 women and 15 teenage boys from Israeli custody.

Two sources close to Hamas confirmed to AFP that some hostages seized in the raids on southern Israel on October 7 were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross for return to Israel.

Half an hour ago, the prisoners were handed to the Red Cross who will take them to the Egyptians and the Israelis who are due to receive them,” one of the sources said. The second source confirmed the handover.

Moments before the handover, Thailand’s prime minister said that Hamas had released 12 Thai nationals held by Hamas, in addition to the 13 Israeli detainees.

A White House official has said Washington does not anticipate any U.S. citizens will be part of the first batch of hostages released, but remains hopeful that Americans will be among those set free over the coming days.

At least 50 people captured by Hamas during the terror attacks of Oct. 7 and 150 Palestinian individuals imprisoned will be released during the truce period, which is expected to also allow the entry and distribution of additional humanitarian aid for the embattled Gaza Strip, as well as the southward evacuation of Palestinian people from the north of the enclave.

The leader of the Hamas politburo has said that the Palestinian militant group is prepared to observe the terms of the limited armistice, as long as Israel does as well.

An extension of the agreement is so far unlikely, with Israeli officials emphasizing that the war campaign is not yet over despite the brief cessation of hostilities, in the days since the deal was first announced.

Culled from Saharareporters