DOHA, QATAR — A total of 24 hostages — 13 Israelis, 10 Thais and one Filipino — were handed over Friday to the Red Cross in Gaza by Hamas, Qatar, which mediated the deal, said.
“Those released include 13 Israeli citizens, some of whom are dual citizens, in addition to 10 Thai citizens and a Filipino citizen,” foreign ministry spokesman Majed Al Ansari wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
He said 39 women and children detained in Israeli jails had also been freed under a deal to exchange hostages seized by Hamas for Palestinian prisoners.
Qatar has led weeks of intense negotiations, coordinating with the US and Egypt, to reach an agreement for the freeing of 50 civilian hostages from Gaza in return for the release of Palestinian prisoners, a four-day truce and access for humanitarian aid.
A source with knowledge of the talks confirmed to AFP the 10 Thais and one Filipino freed were in addition to the 50 Israeli hostages earmarked for release.
Their release was secured “following the Thai foreign minister’s visit to Qatar and mediation efforts by the Qataris and Egyptians,” the source said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.
The number of hostages due to be freed under the deal, staggered over the four-day truce, is by far the largest since Hamas gunmen stormed across Gaza’s militarised border on October 7 and carried out the deadliest attack in Israel’s history.
Israel says the attack killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and saw around 240 more taken hostage, among them elderly people and children.
In response, Israel launched a relentless bombing campaign and ground offensive in Hamas-ruled Gaza, which the Hamas government says has killed more than 15,000 people, thousands of them children.
Qatar has said the initial four-day truce is designed to be extended if further hostage and prisoner exchanges can be secured.
DPM Wong defends SA closure for 55+, netizens demand autonomy for their own CPF savings
Coalition talks intensify as Prabowo-Gibran leads Presidential quick count
SDP Chief Chee Soon Juan receives POFMA order for comments on HDB policies
Indonesia Election update: Prabowo-Gibran commanding lead with 58.91%
AGC to evaluate further action on Kenneth Jeyaretnam over alleged falsehoods
Singapore fines man S$30,000 for illegally importing 2 tonnes of meat
Kenneth Jeyaretnam criticizes MSF’s POFMA on NCMP Leong Mun Wai’s Facebook post
SCDF annual report reveals 31% surge in AMD-related fires in 2023
Angry participants demand refunds for ‘delayed’ Sky Lantern Festival in Sentosa
SPF: At least 419 victims lost S$1.8M to fake buyer phishing scams since January
Love Aid Singapore raises US$60,000 in two days for Palestinians iftar meals
Indonesian lecturers spark “#JanganJadiDosen” movement, demand academic welfare reform
Singapore2 weeks ago
PM Lee encourages more births in the year of the dragon amid declining fertility rates
Singapore1 week ago
Singapore surpasses nursing recruitment target in 2023 amidst high attrition rates
Featured1 week ago
PA surveys community & govt confidence amid pending general election
Comments1 week ago
PAP Marcus Loh accuses WP’s MP of alleged dishonesty on debate about reserves
Civil Society1 week ago
Singaporeans stand firm in support for Palestine amidst police scrutiny
Civil Society6 days ago
At least 9 individuals summoned by police over Palestine solidarity activities on 2 Feb
Community1 week ago
Connectivity struggles in Tengah town prompt online user discussion
International1 week ago
Singapore Police investigate two events amid Israel’s genocide in Gaza