First Group Of Israeli Hostages Freed Amid Temporary Truce

By Jason Hall

November 24, 2023

Israel Awaits Hostage Return On First Day Of Truce With Hamas
Photo: Getty Images

The first round of hostages were released amid a temporary truce between Israel and Hamas on Friday (November 24), CNN reports.

A total of 24 hostages, which includes 13 Israelis, 10 Thai citizens and one Filipino citizen, were released from Hamas custody, according to Qatar's foreign ministry. The hostages have since returned to Israel upon release and underwent medical assessment, the Israel Defense Forces said.

A total of 39 Palestinian prisoners, which are reported to be women and minors, were also released from three prisons -- Damon, Megiddo and Ofer -- as part of the hostage agreement, the Israel Prison Service announced Friday.

"Tonight we finished the first day of our mission to bring the hostages home. We will continue in the coming days to take any necessary action to support this national effort," the head of the Israel Prison Service Katy Perry said in a statement obtained by CNN.

"At the beginning of the day, the (Israel Prison Service) commissioner directed all the staff members to act professionally and operationally, with the aim of carrying out the national mission of returning the hostages home," a prison service spokesperson added. "The prison service will continue in the coming days to carry out the plan for the release of the prisoners as part of the return of the hostages to their homes."

At least 1,200 people, including at least 33 American citizens, were killed and more than 3,400 were injured in the initial terror attacks on Israel by Hamas on October 7, Reuters reported. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, "we are in a war," in a video shared on social media after the attacks, which included land, air and sea as Hamas fighters infiltrated Israel's southern border and fired rockets from the Gaza Strip.

At 13,000 people are reported to have died in retaliation attacks on Gaza, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said via Reuters.

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