Breaking news. Hamas hands over ten Israeli hostages and two foreigners on the fifth day of the truth

Breaking news. Hamas hands over ten Israeli hostages and two foreigners on the fifth day of the truth

 The ceasefire has facilitated the release of 50 hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and 150 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel. This pause in fighting, mediated by Qatar, Egypt, and the United States, began on Friday and was extended by two days to allow for the anticipated release of additional hostages and prisoners. Israel reported that Hamas handed over ten Israeli and two foreign hostages, while the Israeli prison service released 30 Palestinians, including 15 teenage boys and 15 women.

During the ceasefire extension, mediators met in Qatar to discuss its continuation. Although there were accusations of a serious violation, involving an exchange of fire between Israeli troops and militants in northern Gaza, there was no indication that it would jeopardize the truce or the planned exchanges of hostages.

The released Israeli hostages were flown to hospitals in Israel, where they reunited with their families. The truce aims to enable further releases of hostages held in Gaza in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned in Israel.

The Palestinian prisoners released so far mostly consist of teenagers accused of various offenses, including throwing stones and firebombs during confrontations with Israeli forces. Some were convicted of attempting to carry out deadly attacks. Palestinians generally view these prisoners as heroes resisting occupation.

Israel has expressed its commitment to resuming the war with "full force" if it becomes clear that no more hostages will be freed under the current agreement. The Biden administration has advised Israel to avoid significant displacement and mass casualties among Palestinian civilians if it resumes the offensive, emphasizing the need for precision in military operations.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to visit the region with the intention of extending the truce. However, Hamas and other militants still hold around 160 hostages out of the 240 seized in their October 7 assault into southern Israel that triggered the war. Israel has indicated its willingness to extend the truce by one day for every 10 additional hostages released by Hamas, though the latter is expected to make higher demands for the release of captive soldiers.

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