After a long day of tense negotiations and brinkmanship, the second group of Israeli hostages in the current pause in fighting entered Israel close to Saturday midnight, accompanied by IDF forces and Shin Bet operatives. They were escorted out of Gaza to the Rafah crossing by the International Red Cross.
The IDF Spokesperson said, "IDF commanders and soldiers salute and embrace the hostages being handed back on their return home. We will continue to work together with the security forces organizations to bring back all the hostages."
The group was comprised of 13 Israelis - eight children and five women - and four foreign Thai workers. In exchange 39 Palestinian security prisoners were released to Judea and Samaria. On Friday, Hamas released the first group of hostages including 13 Israelis and 10 Thai workers and a Filipino citizen. Israel has already received from Hamas a list of 13 more citizens to be released later today (Sunday).
Most of the second group of hostages were abducted from Kibbutz Be'eri on October 7. They include nine year-old Israeli-Irish girl Emily Hand, and 13-year old Hila Rotem as well as three-year old Yael Shoham, 52 year-old Sharon Avigdori and her 12-year old daughter Noam who were visiting family in Kibbutz Be'eri when they were taken hostage.
The second group of hostages are currently undergoing medical examination in hospital in Israel.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 26, 2023.
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.