Highlights

  • Hamas released 17 more hostages
  • 4-yr-old American girl freed amid truce
  • First male, a Russian, freed by the Hamas

Latest news

Here is why the Ambanis picked Jamnagar as Anant Ambani-Radhika Merchant's pre-wedding destination

Here is why the Ambanis picked Jamnagar as Anant Ambani-Radhika Merchant's pre-wedding destination

After SEBI, mutual funds body writes to fund houses to protect small and mid-cap investors

After SEBI, mutual funds body writes to fund houses to protect small and mid-cap investors

Sachin Tendulkar praises Jammu and Kashmir, PM Modi says let's build a developed India

Sachin Tendulkar praises Jammu and Kashmir, PM Modi says let's build a developed India

DMK ad for ISRO spaceport shows Chinese flag on rocket, sparks row

DMK ad for ISRO spaceport shows Chinese flag on rocket, sparks row

Startup to Scaleup: Spotlight on The Hosteller, the game-changer in backpacking hostel space

Startup to Scaleup: Spotlight on The Hosteller, the game-changer in backpacking hostel space

Samsung showcases bendable wrist phone concept at MWC 2024

Samsung showcases bendable wrist phone concept at MWC 2024

AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal convicted of abetting suicide of Delhi doctor

AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal convicted of abetting suicide of Delhi doctor

Human skulls, bones found at vacant plot in Kanpur

Human skulls, bones found at vacant plot in Kanpur

Hamas releases third group of hostages, 4-yr-old US girl among 17 freed

Hamas released 17 more hostages, including a four-year-old American girl and a Russian, the first male to be freed.

Hamas releases third group of hostages, 4-yr-old US girl among 17 freed

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the militants freed 17 more hostages, including 14 Israelis and the first American, in a third set of releases under a four-day truce that the US said it hoped would be extended.

Some hostages were handed over directly to Israel, while others left through Egypt. Israel's army said one was airlifted to a hospital. US President Joe Biden said the elderly woman was “very sick and was in need of immediate medical help".

Hundreds of Israelis draped in flags cheered and sang as freed hostages, waving, arrived at an air force base. They were being flown to hospitals.

The hostages ranged in age from 4 to 84 and included Abigail Edan, a 4-year-old girl and dual citizen whose parents were killed in the Hamas attack that started the war on Oct 7.

“What she endured was unthinkable,” Biden said of the first American freed under the truce. He did not know her condition. He did not have updates on other American hostages and said his goal was to extend the cease-fire deal as long as possible.

In all, nine children ages 17 and younger were on the list, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office. Separately, Hamas said it released a Russian hostage “in response to the efforts of Russian President Vladimir Putin". The Russian-Israeli citizen was the first male hostage to be freed.

Israel's prison service later said it had begun the process of releasing 39 Palestinian prisoners. A convoy of vehicles was seen leaving Ofer military prison in the occupied West Bank.

A fourth exchange is expected on Monday - the last day of the cease-fire during which a total of 50 hostages and 150 Palestinian prisoners are to be freed. All are women and minors.

International mediators led by the US, Egypt and Qatar are trying to extend the cease-fire that began Friday.

Ahead of the latest release, Netanyahu visited the Gaza Strip, where he spoke with troops. “We are making every effort to return our hostages, and at the end of the day we will return every one,” he said, adding that “we are continuing until the end, until victory. Nothing will stop us.” It was not immediately clear where he went inside Gaza.

A BREAK IN THE FIGHTING The cease-fire agreement has brought the first significant pause in seven weeks of war, marked by the deadliest Israeli-Palestinian violence in decades and vast destruction and displacement across the Gaza Strip.

More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed, roughly two thirds of them women and minors, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza. The war has claimed the lives of more than 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians killed by Hamas in the initial attack.

Hamas and other militant groups seized around 240 people during the incursion into southern Israel that ignited the war. Fifty-eight have been released, one was freed by Israeli forces and two were found dead inside Gaza.

Families from the southern Israeli town of Kfar Aza embraced, cried, and applauded at the news that hostages from their town had arrived in Israel. More than 70 members of the kibbutz of around 700 people were killed and 18 were kidnapped.

Pressure from hostages' families has sharpened the dilemma facing Israel's leaders, who seek to eliminate Hamas as a military and governing power while returning all the captives.

Israel has said the truce can be extended by an extra day for every additional 10 hostages freed, but has vowed to quickly resume its offensive once it ends. The US said it is working with all sides on the possibility that the deal gets extended to additional hostages.

HAMAS COMMANDER KILLED Hamas announced the death of Ahmed al-Ghandour, who was in charge of northern Gaza and a member of its top military council. He is the highest-ranking militant known to have been killed in the fighting. Israel's military confirmed the death.

Al-Ghandour, believed to have been around 56 years old, had survived at least three Israeli attempts on his life and was involved in a cross-border attack in 2006 in which Palestinian militants captured an Israeli soldier, according to the Counter Extremism Project, an advocacy group based in Washington.

Hamas said he was killed along with three other senior militants, including Ayman Siam, who Israel says was in charge of Hamas' rocket-firing unit. The Israeli military mentioned both men in a Nov 16 statement, saying it had targeted an underground complex where Hamas leaders were hiding.

The Israeli military claims to have killed thousands of militants, without providing evidence, including several mid-ranking commanders it has identified by name.

AID AND RESPITE IN GAZA The pause has given some respite to Gaza's 2.3 million people, still reeling from relentless Israeli bombardment that has driven three-quarters of the population from their homes and levelled residential areas. Rocket fire from Gaza militants into Israel also went silent.

War-weary Palestinians in northern Gaza, where the offensive has focused, returned to the streets. Entire city blocks in and around Gaza City have been gutted by airstrikes.

Hundreds of thousands of people from the north have sought refuge in the south. Palestinians who have tried to return to the north to see if their homes are intact have been turned back by Israeli troops.

“They open fire on anyone approaching from the south,” said Rami Hazarein, who fled from Gaza City last month.

The Israeli military has ordered Palestinians not to return to the north or approach within a kilometre (around a half-mile) of the border fence. The Palestinian Red Crescent rescue service said Israeli forces opened fire Sunday on two farmers in central Gaza, killing one and wounding the other. An Israeli military spokesperson said they weren't aware of the incident.

The United Nations said the truce has made it possible to scale up the delivery of food, water, and medicine to the largest volume since the start of the war, though it still hasn't reached prewar levels. It was able to deliver fuel for the first time since the war began, and to reach areas in the north for the first time in a month.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said 50 Egyptian aid trucks crossed through checkpoints to reach Gaza City and northern areas Sunday.

HOSTAGES FOR PRISONERS The freed hostages have mostly stayed out of the public eye. Hospitals said their physical condition has largely been good. Little is publicly known about the conditions of their captivity.

Eyal Nouri, the nephew of Adina Moshe, 72, who was freed on Friday, said his aunt “had to adjust to the sunlight” because she had been in darkness for weeks.

Many Palestinians view prisoners held by Israel, including those implicated in attacks, as heroes resisting occupation.

The war has been accompanied by a surge in violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Palestinian health authorities said Sunday that five Palestinians were killed in an Israeli military raid in the West Bank city of Jenin that began the day before. The toll in the West Bank is now 239 since the war began.

The Israeli army has conducted frequent military raids and arrested hundreds of Palestinians since the start of the war, mostly people it suspects of being Hamas members.

Concerns remain over a wider conflict. Syrian state media reported that Israeli missile strikes put Damascus International Airport out of service. It said other positions around Syria's capital were hit but made no mention of casualties.

Israel has attacked airports in Damascus and Aleppo several times since the beginning of the war with Hamas. It does not usually acknowledge its airstrikes on Syria, but when it does, it says it is targeting Iranian-backed groups.

Also Watch: Israeli-linked oil tanker seized off the coast of Aden: report


Up Next

Hamas releases third group of hostages, 4-yr-old US girl among 17 freed

Hamas releases third group of hostages, 4-yr-old US girl among 17 freed

Sri Lanka: organiser of 'White Party' apologises after backlash over 'racism'

Sri Lanka: organiser of 'White Party' apologises after backlash over 'racism'

Watch: Donning military gear Jordanian King airdrops aid for Gazans | Israel-Hamas War

Watch: Donning military gear Jordanian King airdrops aid for Gazans | Israel-Hamas War

Watch | Cargo ship sinks off Yemen after Houthi strike

Watch | Cargo ship sinks off Yemen after Houthi strike

Las Vegas nail salon owner thrashed for not allowing woman to use bathroom

Las Vegas nail salon owner thrashed for not allowing woman to use bathroom

'Follow Someone Home': misleading Bengaluru traffic sign leaves internet in splits

'Follow Someone Home': misleading Bengaluru traffic sign leaves internet in splits

More videos

Rapidly expanding wildfires prompt evacuation orders in Texas

Rapidly expanding wildfires prompt evacuation orders in Texas

Biden wins Michigan primary while facing opposition over Israel-Hamas war

Biden wins Michigan primary while facing opposition over Israel-Hamas war

US Army preparing for future wars by slashing jobs

US Army preparing for future wars by slashing jobs

Thousands gather as much-needed aid is airdropped in Gaza

Thousands gather as much-needed aid is airdropped in Gaza

'Cat killer' sentenced to life for murdering man for 'sexual pleasure'

'Cat killer' sentenced to life for murdering man for 'sexual pleasure'

Drunk passenger creates ruckus on flight, tied up by crew | Watch

Drunk passenger creates ruckus on flight, tied up by crew | Watch

Pakistan's Punjab CM Maryam Nawaz shoves colleague Uzma Kardar, latter defends her

Pakistan's Punjab CM Maryam Nawaz shoves colleague Uzma Kardar, latter defends her

Editorji Technologies Pvt. Ltd. © 2022 All Rights Reserved.