New Group Of Israeli Hostages Released

After enduring nearly two months of harrowing captivity at the hands of Hamas terrorists, a group of 17 hostages were released to Israel on Saturday, the Israel Defense Forces revealed.

Upon their arrival in Israel, the hostages underwent initial medical assessments, and several of the released individuals were transported to hospitals for additional treatment.

The released hostages include 13 Israeli citizens and 4 Thai nationals.

The 13 Israeli citizens are 3-year-old Yahel Shoham, 8-year-old Naveh Shoham, 9-year-old Emily Hand, 12-year-old Hila Rotem, 12-year-old Noam Avigdori, 13-year-old Alma Or, 17-year-old Noam Or, 18-year-old Noga Weiss, 21-year-old Maya Regev, 38-year-old Adi Shoham, 52-year-old Sharon Avigdori, 53-year-old Shiri Weiss and 67-year-old Shoshan Haran.

Saturday’s release follows the initial freeing of 13 Israelis on Friday. Friday’s released hostages include 2-year-old Aviv Asher, 5-year-old Raz Asher, 9-year-old Emilia Aloni, 9-year-old Ohad Monder, 34-year-old Doron Katz-Asher, 44-year-old Danielle Aloni, 54-year-old Keren Monder, 72-year-old Adina Moshe, 77-year-old Hanna Katzir, 77-year-old Margalit Mozes, 78-year-old Ruthi Monder, 79-year-old Hannah Perry, 85-year-old Yafa Ader, 85.

These releases come as a result of a hard-won ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, forged amid the IDF’s resolute efforts to eliminate the terrorist network after its heinous Oct. 7 attack on Israel, in which over 200 hostages were taken in addition to the brutal murders.

Family members of the released hostages are beginning to share their loved ones’ experiences. Merav Raviv, a relative of three released hostages (the Monders), revealed the hardships they endured. According to her, they were mostly fed rice and bread and had to sleep on benches. Having lived 50 days in such condition, Keren and Ruthi lost a significant amount of weight, Raviv said.

Adva Adar, the grandchild of 85-year-old Ader, shared her grandmother’s emotional journey. Ader had thought that her family members were lost in the attack. It wasn’t until after her release that she found that they had survived.

“For an 85-year-old woman, usually you have your house where you raised your kids, you have your memories, your photo albums, your clothes. She has nothing, and in her old age she needs to start over. She mentioned that it is tough for her,” Adva said of the impact of the ordeal.

More hostages are set to regain their freedom on Sunday and Monday, the final day of the ceasefire, with an offer from Israeli authorities to extend the truce for each additional ten hostages released by Hamas.