The release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza has been delayed. Last night head of the National Security Council Tzachi Hanegbi announced that the first batch of the 50 hostages to be released in exchange for a pause in fighting and release of Palestinian security prisoners would not take place today as initially planned.
Hanegbi said, "Talks to release our hostages are progressing and continuing all the time. The start of the release will be conducted according to the original agreement between the sides but not before Friday."
There has been speculation about the reasons for the delay with many sources attributing it to technical reasons and 'the rules of the game' with the time for the pause in fighting to come into effect not yet determined.
A US official told "The Wall Street Journal" that while Hamas had provided name, gender and nationality for most of the individuals to be released, there was a lack of information about some of the 50 hostages, complicating and delaying the release.
A Qatari official told the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, "The ceasefire and the start of the release of hostages and prisoners has been postponed to Friday following last minute disagreements that arose."
Hamas and Islamic Jihad hold an estimated 240 hostages abducted during the atrocities on October 7th. Under the deal brokered by Qatar, and which had been expected to go into effect today, Hamas was due to release at least 50 hostages, mainly women, children and the elderly, in exchange for 150 Palestinian female and teenage security prisoners and a four-day pause in fighting as well as allowing increased supplies of fuel and equipment into Gaza.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 23, 2023.
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.