In a significant development, Hamas has released 25 hostages at the beginning of a four-day ceasefire with Israel. The group of released hostages includes a two-year-old child, 10 Thai citizens, one Filipino, and 13 Israeli women and children. The International Committee of the Red Cross in Israel and the Occupied Territories has confirmed that it facilitated the safe release of 24 hostages, although the status of the 25th hostage remains unclear.
This hostage release comes after a surprise attack by Hamas on October 7, in which they invaded Israel and took 240 hostages. The attack resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,200 people, mostly civilians. Hamas had previously stated that it would release up to 70 hostages if Israel agreed to a ceasefire. The ceasefire was brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the United States following weeks of intense fighting that led to civilian casualties on both sides.
The released hostages were most recently under the custody of the Israeli Defense Forces. They have undergone an initial medical assessment and will now be accompanied by IDF soldiers to Israeli hospitals, where they will be reunited with their families. Among the hostages released are individuals of various ages, including a two-year-old, a four-year-old, a five-year-old, and several individuals over the age of 70.
Adina Moshe, 72, and Margalit Moses, 77, who were abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz, are among the hostages who have been freed. Adina Moshe's husband was killed in front of her during the initial attack.
Thailand's Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, has acknowledged the release of the Thai citizens and stated that embassy officials are on their way to pick them up. The Thai hostages are currently in Israel and will receive treatment at Assaf Harofeh hospital.