Israel-Hamas war live: 17 hostages freed by Hamas arrive in Israel; 39 Palestinian prisoners released

Hamas fighters were set on Sunday to release a third group of Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, a day after freeing 17 captives.

The office of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it had received a list of the hostages due to be released, Agence France-Presse reports.

The list was being checked by security officials, it said, and families of the hostages had been informed.

In a sign of the fragility of the exchanges, the last swap – on Saturday – delayed for hours after Hamas accused Israel of breaching its side of the deal that led to a four-day ceasefire.

Despite the dispute, Hamas released 13 Israelis and four Thai hostages late that night, officials said. Israel said it in turn freed 39 Palestinian prisoners.

A senior Red Cross official has told Sky News he is “not confident” of more hostages being released today.

The network quotes Pascal Hundt saying that despite not being confident about more releases, the Red Cross has a team on standby. He was speaking from Gaza. He added that that the truce needed to remain in place because the humanitarian situation in Gaza was “so desperate”.

AFP has more detail on the commanders that Hamas today said had been killed during Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip since Hamas launched its attack inside Israel on 7 October.

In a statement, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades said Ahmed Al-Ghandour was a member of its military council and named three other leaders who had died, including Ayman Siyyam, who Israeli media reports said was head of the Brigades’ rocket-firing units.

“We pledge to Allah we will continue their path and that their blood will be a light for the mujahedeen and a fire for the occupiers,” the statement said, without saying when they were killed.

Ghandour – whose nom de guerre was Abu Anas – was listed by the US in 2017 as a “specially designated global terrorist”, putting him on an economic sanctions blacklist.

The US state department described him as a former member of Hamas’ Shura council and member of its political bureau.

Ghandour “has been involved in many terrorist operations,” it said, including a 2006 attack on an Israeli military outpost at the Kerem Shalom border crossing which left two Israeli soldiers dead and four wounded.

That attack resulted in the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held by Hamas for five years before he was freed in 2011 in exchange for the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.

London’s Metropolitan police has said it has launched an investigation after a journalist alleged she was verbally abused in an “intimidating” encounter while reporting at the pro-Palestinian march in the UK’s capital on Saturday.

PA Media reports Katherine Forster described herself and her crew being surrounded by people “all shouting” in central London after she admitted to a “persistent” man that she was reporting for GB News.

In a statement on social media, the police force said “The right of the press to freely report on protests is no less important than the right to protest itself. They should be able to do so without facing intimidation or aggression. Officers spoke with the journalist and her team following this incident. An investigation is under way.”

The UK prime minister recently sacked home secretary Suella Braverman – the equivalent of interior minister – after she publicly criticised London’s police for the way they were handling pro-Palestinian protests.

Here are some of the latest images from Gaza and Israel sent to us over the news wires:

An image grab from a handout video released by Hamas shows Thai hostages waving aboard a Red Cross vehicle in the Gaza Strip as they are released after being abducted on 7 October.
Israeli soldiers gather near the border with the Gaza Strip in southern Israel on 26 November.
A Palestinian woman sits on debris in her damaged apartment in the Khezaa district on the outskirts of the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis.
Israa Jaabis (C) is welcome at her home in east Jerusalem after her release from an Israeli prison. Jaabis had been sentenced to 11 years in prison for detonating a gas cylinder in her car at a checkpoint in 2015, wounding a police officer.

The funeral is taking place in Jenin in the occupied West Bank of five Palestinians killed on Sunday by Israeli forces.

Palestinian gunmen shoot into the air during the funeral of Palestinians killed in an overnight Israeli army raid at the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

In a statement earlier Israel’s military claimed that “five terrorists were eliminated, 21 wanted persons were arrested” during its operation, and that air support targeted “an armed terrorist squad that endangered the IDF forces”.

The claims have not been independently verified.

Palestinians amid the debris of a damaged building after an overnight Israeli incursion into Jenin.

Here is the Palestine Red Crescent Society statement about the killing of a farmer in Gaza by Israeli forces earlier on Sunday. It said:

The association’s ambulance crews dealt with two cases a short while ago east of Al-Maghazi camp, east of the central governorate. Although the humanitarian calm has entered its third day, the Israeli occupation forces recently targeted two farmers east of Al-Maghazi camp, which led to the death of one of them and the wounding of the other.

Hamas announced on Sunday the killing of four of its military commanders in the Gaza Strip, including the commander of the North Gaza brigade Ahmad Al Ghandour.

“Al Ghandour is the member of the military council and the commander of the North Brigade,” Reuters reports Al Qassam Brigades said in a statement published on their Telegram channel.

The IDF had claimed to have targeted Al Ghandour on 17 November, without claiming to have killed him.

Isreal’s foreign minister Eli Cohen has posted to social media to say that he has summoned the Irish ambassador to Israel for a reprimand, after what he said were “the outrageous words of the prime minister of Ireland”.

In a tweet, taoiseach Leo Varadkar had said “This is a day of enormous joy and relief for Emily Hand and her family. An innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned, and we breathe a massive sigh of relief.”

The nine-year-old Dublin-born hostage Emily Hand was released from Gaza yesterday, after being abducted by Hamas on 7 October.

In his post, Cohen said:

Following the outrageous words of the prime minister of Ireland about the release of Emily Hand, who was kidnapped to Gaza by the terrorist organization Hamas, I summoned the Irish ambassador to Israel for a reprimand.

A Palestinian farmer was killed and another injured on Sunday after they were targeted by Israeli forces in the Maghazi refugee camp in the centre of Gaza, Reuters reports. It cited the Palestinan Red Crescent Society.

Ireland has breathed a “massive sigh of relief” after nine year old Dublin-born hostage Emily Hand was release from Gaza, the taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.

“Emily has come back to us,” her father said as Emily rushed into his embrace in an Israel hospital last night as part of a deal that

“We can’t find the words to describe our emotions after 50 challenging and complicated days,” her family said in a statement.

The little girl was on a sleep over in a friend’s house in kibbutz Be’eri, one of the communities worst hit by last month’s Hamas attack, when she was abducted.

Her friend Hila Rotem, 13, was also released last night but her mother, Raya Rotem, 54, is still being held captive.

Irish-Israeli girl Emily Hand, who was abducted by Hamas gunmen during the 7 October attack on Israel, meets her father Thomas Hand after being released.

Varadkar said: “An innocent girl who was lost has now been found and returned, and our country breathes a massive sigh of relief.

“For her family, these seven weeks have been a slow and cruel torture. We hope she will soon heal and recover from the traumatic experience in the loving embrace of her family,” he said.

His deputy Micheál Martin said that “after weeks of trauma” last night was a “precious and deeply moving moment” for Emily and her family.

Varadkar’s comment that the girl was “lost” has been criticised by Israel’s foreign minister for downplaying the fact that she was abducted.

Here are some further comments that have been released from Israel’s chief of staff, Gen Herzi Halevi. While speaking to troops he said that “we will return to our operations with determination” when the current pause in fighting finishes, in order to force “the continued release of the hostages and the complete dismantlement of Hamas”.

He also said:

I met many of you at the end of long hours of fighting both above and underground, facing complex challenges. In every encounter, I saw reflected in your eyes the magnitude of the moment, the fighting spirit and determination to achieve all the objectives of the war. I heard you tell me: ‘We want to fight until we return the hostages.’ And so we are doing just that.

Haaretz is reporting that Maya Regev, a released hostage that Hamas had seized durings its assault on the Supernova music festival, “will need to undergo surgery in the future”. It quotes the director of Soroka Medical Centre, where she has been taken, saying “we expect her to make a full recovery”. There were no further details.


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