24 Israeli Hostages Released

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Photo Credit: Israel Police, via Wikimedia

24 Israeli hostages were released from Hamas custody following a ceasefire deal. Including in that number were 10 Thai citizens and 1 Filipino who were working in Israel when they were captured.

In exchange, Israel has agreed to a ceasefire for 4 days and the release of 39 Palestinian prisoners. The NY Times says:

After nearly seven weeks in captivity, 13 Israeli hostages abducted by Hamas and other groups during the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel were released on Friday as part of a deal that paused the fighting in the Gaza Strip.

The 13 — all women and children — were returned to Israel. Five other hostages had been released or rescued earlier in the fighting.

This has given relief to the Palestinian civilians who have been under bombardment since the October 7 attack. Hamas will be able to reposition its troops, but so will Israel. In addition, Israel will be able to continue its intelligence collection to prepare to resume attacks. The AP continues:

In Gaza, the truce’s start Friday morning brought the first quiet for 2.3 million Palestinians reeling and desperate from relentless Israeli bombardment that has killed thousands, driven three-quarters of the population from their homes and leveled residential areas. Rocket fire from Gaza militants into Israel went silent as well.

Increased supplies of food, water, medicine and fuel promised under the deal began to roll into Gaza, where U.N. officials had warned that Israel’s seal on the territory threatened to push it to starvation.

Although the truce is good news for both sides, the conflict does not have a clear end state. If Israel conquers the whole of Gaza, its administration will have to contend with stay behind operations that will prove costly. If it withdraws, it will have to harden its border to prevent another attack.

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