Palestinian militant group Hamas has released 11 Israeli hostages from the Gaza strip in exchange of 33 Palestinian prisoners in the fourth round of swaps under a temporary truce deal.
Taking to X, Qatari foreign ministry spokesman Majed Al Ansari confirmed the released of hostages and prisoners late on Monday, November 27.
“Those released from Israeli prisons include 30 minors and 3 women, while the Israelis released from Gaza include 3 French citizens, 2 German citizens, and 6 Argentinian citizens, were handed over to the ICRC,” he wrote on X.
The Israeli military confirmed in a statement that the newly released hostages had arrived in Israel after being transferred by Hamas to the Red Cross.
“IDF (Israel Defense Forces) special forces and ISA (Israel Security Agency) forces are currently accompanying 11 released hostages in Israeli territory,” the statement read, adding that “after they undergo an initial medical assessment, our forces will escort them until they are reunited with their families.”
They were released 52 days after being taken hostage by Hamas militants in their deadly attack on southern Israel on October 7.
Hamas has so far released 69 hostages, primarily women and children.
Of the about 240 hostages captured by Hamas, less than one-third have been released so far, according to IDF figures.
With Monday’s releases, Israel has so far freed 150 Palestinians from prison, mainly women and minors, since the truce came into force on November 24.
Many of these prisoners were detained but never charged.
Early Tuesday morning, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said that it had received a new list of hostages to be released in the day by the Hamas.
The latest swap came just hours before the four-day truce was due to expire.
Qatar has said that Israel and Hamas have agreed to a two-day extension.
Over the next two days, Hamas has committed to releasing another 20 women and children, according to US national security spokesman John Kirby.
Under the initial four-day deal, the militant group was required to release 50 Israeli hostages in exchange for some 150 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.
Israel had said previously that the release of every additional 10 hostages would result in one additional day in the pause.
Hamas said in a statement to Xinhua that the extension of the truce will be carried out “under the same conditions as listed in the previous ceasefire deal”.
Further lorry-loads of humanitarian supplies entered the Gaza Strip on Monday with food, fuel and medicines being distributed by aid organisations
As of Tuesday morning, more than 14,800 people have been killed in Gaza since the eruption of the hostilities, including about 6,000 children and 4,000 women.
The death toll in Israel stood at over 1,200 and the West Bank has reported at least 231 fatalities.