Israel-Gaza live updates: 1st group of Israeli hostages freed by Hamas, sources say
A total of 24 hostages were freed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Friday as part of a temporary truce with Israel, ABC News has learned.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, which is facilitating the release and transfer of the hostages, issued a statement confirming “the safe release of 24 hostages.”
“We have facilitated this release by transporting them from Gaza to the Rafah border, marking the real-life impact of our role as a neutral intermediary between the parties,” the ICRC added.
Qatar, which along with Egypt and the United States mediated the negotiations between Hamas and Israel, also issued a statement from its foreign ministry confirming that the hostages who were released on Friday “include 13 Israeli citizens, some of whom are dual citizens, in addition to 10 Thai citizens and one Filipino citizen.”
“We also confirm the release of 39 women and children detained in Israeli prisons accordance with the terms of the first day of the agreement,” a spokesperson for the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Earlier, Thailand said 12 of its nationals held by Hamas were freed on Friday.
All 24 hostages crossed into Egypt from Gaza via the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing. They will be transported to hospitals in Israel, sources told ABC News.
24 hostages released from Gaza: Red Cross
-ABC News’ Ayat Al-Tawy, Will Gretsky, Jordana Miller and Morgan Winsor