(RepublicanNews.org) – The identities of 11 hostages who were kidnapped by Hamas on October 7th, 2023, have been released.
As part of the exchange deal between Israel and Hamas, 11 hostages were released by the militant group to the Red Cross, including a pair of three-year-old twin girls and other children, while 30 Palestinian prisoners were returned to the territory. It marked the fourth swap between the two combatants under a ceasefire which began on November 24th.
Israeli forces accompanied the hostages into its territory, where they underwent medical assessments following more than seven weeks in captivity. The forces will accompany them until they are reunited with their families.
According to the Qatari government, which has been a prominent mediator between Israel and Hamas, those released included three with French citizenship, while two and six held German and Argentinian citizenship respectively. They were identified as Karina Engel-Bart, 51; Sahar Kalderon, 16; Erez Kalderon, 12; Or Yaakov, 16; Yagil Yaakov, 12; Mika Engel, 18; Yuval Engel, 11; Eitan Yahalomi, 12; Sharon Alony Cunio, 34; Yuli and Emma Cunio, both 3.
The original four-day ceasefire was extended by two days on Monday, November 27th, with Israel agreeing to a one-day extension for every ten hostages released thereafter. However, the country has maintained its commitment to the complete destruction of Hamas, which has had its grip on Gaza for nearly two decades. To do so, it would be required to enter the southern portion of the strip, where hundreds of thousands of civilians, mostly women and children, are taking refuge in humanitarian shelters.
Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy warned that his country would resume its operations in Gaza with “full force” should the current ceasefire expire. Along with the total annihilation of Hamas, the country has prioritized the release of all hostages who have been missing since October 7th.
There are believed to be around 175 hostages still in the hands of Hamas militants. However, they include several soldiers, which may lead to greater demands for their release.
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