| 21 February 2024, Wednesday |

Gaza truce holds as more Israeli hostages, Palestinian prisoners set for release

As a planned four-day truce to allow the exchange of 50 hostages for Palestinian detainees continues to hold in the restricted Gaza Strip, Hamas was scheduled to free a second set of Israelis on Saturday.

According to Egyptian security sources, 14 Israeli women and children’s names had been obtained by Hamas. They were awaiting more information regarding the exact time of the captives’ transfer to Egyptian authorities.

Israeli security officials were reviewing the list, though the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not confirm the number or timing of the expected release.

Among the hostages freed on Friday after almost 50 days in captivity in Gaza was nine-year-old Ohad Munder, who ran down a hospital corridor in Israel into his father’s open arms, footage released by the hospital showed.

He and three other children released at the same time were in relatively good condition, Gilat Livni, the centre’s Director of Paediatrics told reporters.

“I dreamt we came home,” another hostage, four-year-old Raz Asher, said sitting in her father’s arms on a hospital bed after she and her mother and younger sister were freed. “Now the dream came true,” her father, Yoni, replied.

  • Reuters