Israel Anticipates Further Hostage Releases Amidst Ongoing Truce with Hamas
Israel-Hamas ceasefire: Anticipate more hostage releases as optimism grows. Get the latest news on the ongoing conflict now.
As the four-day ceasefire unfolds in Gaza, Israel is hopeful for the release of more hostages by the Palestinian militant group, Hamas. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) express expectations of approximately 13 captives being freed each day, with a targeted total of around 50 individuals. Following the release of 24 captives on Friday, including 10 Thais and one Filipino, Saturday's release is scheduled for approximately 4 p.m. local time.
At a press briefing, IDF spokesperson Doron Spielman emphasized Israel's commitment to the ceasefire, refraining from firing during this period. While reports indicate stability in much of Gaza, the Israeli military intercepted a surface-to-air missile from Lebanon and another suspicious "aerial target" from the northern border.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office confirmed receipt of a list detailing the next group of hostages slated for release. Approximately 215 captives are believed to still be in Gaza, with concerns over their well-being since their capture during Hamas' attack on October 7.
Under the ceasefire initiated on Friday, Israel has already released 39 Palestinian women and minors. This exchange is anticipated to continue as part of the efforts to secure the release of Israeli captives held by Hamas. U.S. President Joe Biden commended the progress, expressing expectations for additional releases in the days ahead.
Biden attributed the success to extensive American diplomacy and affirmed ongoing communication with leaders from Qatar, Egypt, and Israel. The pause in hostilities provides a critical window for humanitarian aid delivery, and Biden stressed the urgency of providing essential supplies to the affected areas.
Accompanying the release of hostages on Friday was a surge in humanitarian aid, including 200 aid trucks entering southern Gaza from Egypt. An additional 61 trucks of aid reached northern Gaza on Saturday, offering much-needed relief to the region.
This ceasefire, marking the first significant break since the conflict's initiation, presents an opportunity for diplomatic initiatives and the delivery of essential resources to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.