Another Group Of Israeli Hostages Freed Amid Ceasefire Extension

Twelve hostages held by Hamas were released on Tuesday following the release of four groups of hostages from Friday to Monday. The Red Cross and the Israel Defense Forces confirmed the release of these hostages, which include 10 Israeli females and two male Thai workers, assuring that they are now safe in Israel.

In exchange for the release of these hostages, 30 Palestinians, consisting of 15 minors and 15 women, were released from Israeli prisons, per Dr. Majed Al-Ansari, spokesperson for Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During the release, a crowd of Hamas terrorists and supporters chanted “Allahu akbar!” (“God is great!”) as the hostages were moved to Red Cross vans.

The hostages are 17-year-old Mia Leimberg, 36-year-old Rimon Kirsht, 53-year-old Meirav Tal, 59-year-old Gabriela Leimberg, 60-year-old Noralin Babadila, 63-year-old Clara Marman, 75-year-old Ada Sagi, 77-year-old Ofelia Adit Roitman and 78-year-old Tamar Metzger.

In a statement, the community of Kibbutz Nir Oz welcomed the return of five of their members, Tal, Sagi, Roitman, Metzger and Heiman.

“These women returned from captivity are the foundation of our community and our country. Without a strong foundation, a community has no future. They were held captive, in harsh conditions and deprived of essential medical care. Two of the women released have been separated from their husbands, who remain in captivity. The Nir Oz community is committed to support them, and their families, through the long recovery process ahead,” the statement read.

However, three Thai nationals abducted from the kibbutz are still being held hostage, and their release status remains uncertain.

The release of these hostages came after a humanitarian pause in the fighting between Hamas and Israel was extended for an additional 48 hours. The ceasefire was originally meant for four days – from last week Friday to Monday.

The initial four days saw the release of dozens of Israeli hostages and more than 100 Palestinian prisoners, including 4-year-old Abigail Mor Edan, the youngest American held hostage by Hamas.

There might be a possibility of further extension after Wednesday, the final day of the truce, as discussions are ongoing regarding this. While some have called for a permanent ceasefire, many in Israel, including certain military officers on the ground in Gaza, want the nation to resume its fight against Hamas, with Itamar Ben Gvir, a far-right leader within the governing coalition, threatening to quit and attempt to topple the government if the military does not return to war against Hamas.