Israel to Release 14 Hostages Held by Hamas as Part of Qatar-Brokered Deal
Israeli authorities have confirmed that 14 hostages held by Hamas are set to be released on Saturday as part of a Qatar-brokered deal. This follows the release of 24 hostages on Friday, marking the second day of a four-day pause in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Under the terms of the agreement, Israel will release a total of 42 Palestinian prisoners. Friday's releases included 13 Israelis, 10 Thais, and one Filipino national, while 39 Palestinian prisoners were also released as part of the deal.
The latest developments come amidst the second day of a humanitarian pause in the fighting between Israel and Hamas, providing a window for diplomatic efforts to address the crisis. The release of hostages and prisoners is seen as a crucial step toward de-escalation and fostering a more stable environment in the region.
A notable milestone in the ongoing conflict, the largest humanitarian convoy since the start of the war entered Gaza on Friday. The convoy carried essential supplies, including fuel, food, and medical provisions, aiming to address the pressing humanitarian needs of the population in the war-torn region.
Hamas's attacks on October 7 resulted in the death of 1,200 people, with approximately 240 individuals taken hostage. Since then, Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry has reported more than 14,500 casualties in Israel's retaliatory campaign.
The Qatar-brokered deal and the release of hostages and prisoners signal a potential shift towards diplomatic resolutions and a cessation of hostilities. The international community continues to closely monitor developments in the region, hoping for sustained efforts to bring about a lasting and peaceful resolution to the conflict.