13 Israelis, 10 Thais, One Filipino Freed By Hamas – Qatar

According to Qatar, which negotiated the deal, Hamas handed up 24 prisoners — 13 Israelis, 10 Thais, and one Filipino — to the Red Cross in Gaza on Friday.

“Those released include 13 Israeli citizens, some of whom are dual citizens, in addition to 10 Thai citizens and a Filipino citizen,” foreign ministry spokesman Majed Al Ansari wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

He added that 39 women and children incarcerated in Israeli jails had also been released as part of a deal to exchange Hamas hostages for Palestinian detainees.

Qatar has spearheaded weeks of hard negotiations, collaborating with the United States and Egypt, to secure an arrangement for the release of 50 civilian hostages from Gaza in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners, a four-day truce, and humanitarian aid access.

A source with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed the conversations to AFP. The ten Thais and one Filipino released were in addition to the 50 Israeli prisoners set to be released.

Their release was secured “following the Thai foreign minister’s visit to Qatar and mediation efforts by the Qataris and Egyptians,” the source said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.

The number of captives set to be released under the deal is by far the highest since Hamas gunmen rushed across Gaza’s militarized border on October 7 and carried out the worst attack in Israel’s history.

According to Israel, the strike killed 1,200 people, largely civilians, and took 240 more hostage, including elderly and children.

In response, Israel launched a relentless bombing campaign and ground offensive in Hamas-ruled Gaza, killing more than 15,000 people, many of them were children, according to the Hamas government.

Qatar has said the initial four-day truce is designed to be extended if further hostage and prisoner exchanges can be secured.

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