First Prisoner Exchange Between Hamas and Israel Completed, Hostages Released

Written by Henrik Rothen

Nov.25 - 2023 8:25 AM CET

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Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
First Prisoner Exchange Between Hamas and Israel Completed, Hostages Released

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The first prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel has been successfully completed, marking a significant step in ongoing efforts to maintain the truce between the two sides.

In this landmark exchange, 39 Palestinians - comprising 24 women and 15 minors - were released from the Ofer, Damon, and Megiddo prisons. They arrived at the Beitunia checkpoint in the West Bank, signaling a hopeful turn in the tense relations between Israel and Hamas.

According to Sky.it, the exchange process began with the release of 13 Israelis who had been kidnapped by Hamas on October 7. The Red Cross facilitated their transfer from Khan Younis in southern Gaza to the Rafah crossing, where they were handed over to Israeli authorities. The Israelis were then brought back to their country through the Kerem Shalom crossing. The Red Cross confirmed that all individuals involved were in good condition.

In addition to the Israelis, the Qatari Foreign Ministry confirmed the release of 11 other hostages, including 10 Thai nationals and one from the Philippines. Furthermore, four Germans were also freed from Gaza, adding to the international dimension of this exchange.

This prisoner exchange is planned to continue for at least the next three days, aiming for the release of 50 Israeli hostages. The truce, which is currently holding in both the Gaza Strip and northern Israel, brings a glimmer of hope for peace and stability in the region.

U.S. President Joe Biden commented on the situation, stating, "The release of the hostages is just the beginning."

This statement underscores the importance of this exchange as a potential starting point for more extensive negotiations and peace efforts in the region. The successful exchange and ongoing truce are seen as critical steps towards a more stable and peaceful relationship between Hamas and Israel.

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