24 hostages have been freed as a temporary halt in the Israel-Hamas conflict goes into effect.

24 hostages have been freed as a temporary halt in the Israel-Hamas conflict goes into effect.

The first group of hostages taken captive by Hamas in the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel were released from Gaza hours after the four-day cease-fire in the 

conflict between Israel and Hamas

The agreement resulted in the release of over 30 Palestinians detained in Israel, which went into effect on Friday morning according to officials.

On Friday, Hamas released thirteen hostages from Israel according to the head of the government press office. CBS News correspondent Lilia Luciano stated that around 6 p.m. local time, Red Cross vehicles carrying the former Israeli hostages were seen crossing the Gaza border into Egypt.

According to a statement from Qatar’s Foreign Ministry representative Dr. Majed Al Ansari on a social media platform, a total of 24 hostages have been freed. This includes 13 Israelis, 10 Thais, and one Filipino.

On social media, it was reported that the hostages had been released and were now on Israeli soil after undergoing initial medical evaluations around 7 p.m. local time. IDF personnel accompanied the hostages to hospitals where they will be able to reunite with their loved ones. Additionally, the IDF posted a video of the released hostages arriving in Israel on a bus.

“We have successfully repatriated the first group of our hostages, including children, their mothers, and other women,” stated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday. “Each individual is a unique and valuable life. I want to assure both the families and citizens of Israel that we are determined to bring back all of the remaining hostages. This is one of the main objectives of the conflict and we are dedicated to achieving all of our goals.”

Robert Berger, a contributor for CBS News, stated that the release had been “successful.”

Berger stated that the moment was quite dramatic and appears to be proceeding according to plan.

The prime minister’s office confirmed that Israeli intelligence was informed about a second group of hostages set to be released on Saturday, as part of the cease-fire agreement. The families of these hostages have been notified, according to a statement released on Friday evening.

At approximately 4 p.m. local time, 10 citizens of Thailand were freed from captivity. According to a post on social media by Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, officials from the Thai embassy will be retrieving the hostages. Earlier, there were indications that a total of 12 Thai nationals would be released. Diaa Rashwan, the head of Egypt’s State Information Service, stated that the release was the result of dedicated efforts by Egypt.

Al Ansari said the freeing of these hostages happened “as part of ongoing mediation, outside the framework of the agreement of the Humanitarian Pause” brokered by Qatar, Egypt, the U.S., Israel and Hamas. 

The Red Cross has officially started a multi-day mission to help release and transfer hostages held in Gaza and Palestinian detainees to the West Bank.

Israel-Hamas agree on temporary truce

A Red Cross vehicle, traveling with a group of vehicles thought to be transporting hostages taken by Hamas fighters in the October 7 assault on Israel, reaches the Rafah border. This is part of a deal between Hamas and Israel to exchange hostages and prisoners, as seen from the southern Gaza Strip on November 24, 2023.


Al-Ansari confirmed the release of 39 Palestinian women and children who had been held in Israeli prisons on Friday, in accordance with the agreement made on the first day.

On Friday, a large crowd gathered in the occupied village of Beitunia in the West Bank to welcome the release of 24 female and 15 adolescent Palestinian prisoners.

Katy Perry, the Commissioner of the Israel Prison Service, visited Damon prison in Israel to meet with the guards before their release.

Perry stated that our goal is to bring the kidnapped individuals back home and we will strive to achieve this to the best of our capabilities.

The Red Cross supervised the movement of the detainees, initially to Ofer Prison in the West Bank, and subsequently to Beitunia.

Israeli soldiers were present outside Ofer Prison in preparation for the exchange, during which a group of Palestinians threw rocks at them. Video footage showed one Palestinian being wounded in the leg and being quickly taken away in an ambulance. The Associated Press also stated that their journalists witnessed tear gas being used by the IDF against Palestinians who were waiting to welcome the released prisoners.

The agreement between Hamas and Israel includes the release of 50 hostages by Hamas and 150 Palestinians from Israeli prisons. Shortly after the temporary ceasefire began on Friday morning, Israel’s military alerted nearby villages of potential rocket attacks. However, there have been no reports of ongoing conflict between Israeli forces and Hamas, giving hope that the hostage releases will still take place on Friday.

The cease-fire

The operation began at 7 a.m. in the local time zone, which is equivalent to midnight on the East Coast of the United States. The Israeli military did not release any official statement at that time, but less than two hours later, they stated that they had finished their preparations for combat in accordance with the pause.

A representative emphasized on a social media platform shortly after 7 a.m. local time that the pause in fighting is only temporary and the conflict is ongoing.

On Friday, President Biden announced his belief that additional hostages will be freed on Saturday, followed by more on subsequent days.

Mr. Biden stated that while it is just the beginning, the hostage release on Friday has been successful. He also mentioned that within the next hour, they will have information about the next set of releases.

According to Mr. Biden, the United States is unsure of when the American hostages will be released or what conditions must be met.

“We do not have knowledge of the complete list of hostages and their release dates, however we are aware of the specific numbers that will be released,” stated the individual. “I am hopeful and anticipate that this will happen in the near future.”

Biden expressed optimism about the possibility of extending the temporary pause in the conflict and assured that he is maintaining communication with the leaders of Qatar, Egypt, and Israel to ensure the ongoing success and full implementation of the agreement.

When asked if he trusts Hamas to uphold its end of the deal, Mr. Biden said, “I don’t trust Hamas to do anything right. I only trust Hamas to respond to pressure.” 

Mr. Biden recognized the pain and suffering the hostages have endured.

He stated that the hostages have endured a horrific experience and this is just the start of a lengthy process of recovery for them. The teddy bears, which are awaiting the arrival of the children at the hospital, serve as a poignant reminder of the emotional distress these young ones have faced.

The spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee, cautioned that the northern area of Gaza is still a hazardous conflict area and it is prohibited to travel there. He stated that individuals in the devastated Palestinian region should stay within the designated humanitarian zone in the southern part of the Strip and only use one specific road to travel there. He also emphasized that there will be no allowance for residents to travel from the southern part of the Strip to the north under any circumstances.

Displaced Palestinians return to their homes as they pass by a house destroyed in an Israeli strike during the conflict, amid the temporary truce between Hamas and Israel, in Khan Younis

Palestinians who were forced to leave their homes are attempting to go back, as they pass a house that was destroyed in a previous airstrike by Israel. This occurred during a temporary halt in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas on November 24, 2023, in Khan Younis, located in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.


Israeli soldiers shoot at Palestinian refugees attempting to return to their homes.

Marwan al-Ghoul, a CBS News producer, witnessed Israeli forces shooting at Palestinians on Friday as they attempted to return to their homes in northern Gaza. Despite warnings from the IDF in the form of leaflets, thousands of displaced civilians from Khan Younis in southern Gaza made the risky decision to head back north. However, upon reaching a crossover point in central Gaza, they were met with a barrier of Israeli tanks and came under fire from Israeli forces.

The Israeli military is investigating reports of injuries during the encounter, according to CBS News.

Al-Ghoul said between 4,000 and 5,000 people had set off from Khan Younis, and some of them told CBS News they felt hopeless as nowhere in the Gaza Strip felt safe, and they just wanted to get back home.  

CBS News captured footage of civilians frantically fleeing from Israeli forces at the crossing, while the sound of machine gun fire filled the air.

I anticipate that there will be additional hostage releases throughout the weekend.

Under the 

conditions of the agreement brokered earlier this week with the help

Fifty hostages, consisting of women and children who were taken by Hamas during their attack on southern Israel on October 7, will be released in groups over the course of four days by the United States, Egypt, and Qatar.

An estimated 240 captives are believed to still be held in Gaza, including three American hostages who are expected to be among the 50 individuals identified by a senior official in the Biden administration.

The Israeli military agreed to a four-day ceasefire in the conflict in return for the release of hostages. According to a statement from the Israeli government on Tuesday, for every 10 additional hostages released beyond the initial 50, an extra day will be added to the pause.

Before Friday, only four hostages belonging to Hamas had been set free.two Americans and two Israelis.

Majed Al-Ansari, a spokesperson for Qatar’s foreign ministry, stated at a news conference on Thursday that their goal is for this agreement to result in a lasting ceasefire. Currently, the agreement is limited to four days and is subject to a second phase, with subsequent phases aimed at expanding the pause by exchanging more hostages and providing more time for the parties involved. They are optimistic that this momentum will continue and lead to further negotiations for an end to the ongoing violence.

The Israeli air force recently posted images on social media of a military transport plane equipped to transport the released hostages. The plane had empty seats with ear protectors for both adults and children to protect them from the plane’s noise.

The air force expressed their gratitude for being able to assist in the crucial mission of bringing the abducted individuals back home, stating that today marks the start of hope and progress.

On Thursday, reporters inquired. was released or not

Whether the most recent American captive was freed or not.

Abigail Mor Idan, who is turning four years old on Friday, is expected to be released soon. In response to this news, Mr. Biden said, “Hopefully everything goes well.” Idan’s parents were both fatally shot by Hamas.

Noam and Lior Peri were aware that their father Chaim, who was 79 years old, would not be one of the initial hostages to be released at kibbutz Nir Oz.

Noam shared with CBS News that it is difficult to imagine how he is managing and handling the challenges of not knowing where he is or what time it is, possibly for days and nights.

Lior expressed strong belief in being reunited with him in the future.

Al Ansari stated that he anticipated the liberation of Palestinian detainees to occur soon after the release of the hostages in Gaza. As per organizations advocating for the rights of Palestinian prisoners, approximately 7,000 Palestinians are currently imprisoned in Israel, including around 200 children and 75 women. Additionally, dozens have been detained in recent weeks alone.

Samaher Aouad’s child, Norhan, is one of the Palestinians currently imprisoned in Israel who may be released under the agreement. Norhan was taken into custody at the age of 15 for attempting to stab an Israeli soldier nine years ago.

Aouwad expressed to CBS News that the Israeli occupation robbed her of her childhood, which is a source of sadness for her. She believes that no one can make up for the loss of her childhood.

Within a few hours of the cease-fire beginning, trucks carrying aid began to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing at the southern border with Egypt. The Rafah crossing was being monitored by a live camera from Reuters, which showed trucks transporting fuel crossing into Gaza. According to Israeli authorities on social media, 200 trucks filled with water, food, medical supplies, and shelter materials entered Gaza on Friday morning. In addition, four fuel trucks and four cooking gas tanks also crossed into the region.

Diaa Rashwan, the head of Egypt’s State Information Service, announced on Friday morning that a daily supply of approximately 34,000 gallons of fuel will be delivered to Gaza during the cease-fire. Additionally, 200 trucks filled with essential items such as food, medicine, and water will also enter Gaza.

Al-Ansari stated in Qatar that the demand is immense and even with ample assistance, there will still be a significant need for aid.

The conflict in Gaza has been ongoing following Hamas’ violent attack on southern Israel on October 7th, resulting in over 1,200 deaths as reported by Israeli authorities, with a majority of victims being civilians.

The Gaza Health Ministry, controlled by Hamas, reports that around 15,000 individuals have lost their lives in Gaza due to Israel’s counterattack through ground invasion and airstrikes. The United Nations estimates that out of the 2.3 million people living in the enclave, 1.7 million have been forced to leave their homes.

— Imtiaz Tyab, Margaret Brennan, Khaled Wassef, Holly Williams, Lilia Luciano, Jordan Freiman and Kathryn Watson contributed to this report. 



Source: cbsnews.com