1 of 3 | Released Palestinian prisoners, arrive to Beitunia, west of Ramallah, with International Red Cross vehicles under the agreement on the four-day humanitarian pause between Israel and Hamas, in Ramallah, West Bank on November 24, 2023. Israel released 39 Palestinians 24 women and 15 children, from Ofer Prison, as part of an exchange deal. Photo by Mohammad Tamim/ UPI | License Photo
Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Hamas has released 14 Israeli hostages and three foreign nationals in exchange for Israel's freeing of 39 Palestinian prisoners, officials reported, and the military stand down may be extended.
These people were on the third list of prisoners to be released by Hamas and Israel as a truce continued for the third day in Gaza, authorities said.
Abigail Edan, a 4-year-old girl with U.S. citizenship, was among those released, President Joe Biden announced, and the full list of 14 Israeli citizens was published by the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
A Russian national and three people from Thailand were also released while the list of prisoners released by Israel includes 39 Palestinians, Egypt's State Information Service said in a statement.
Daniel Hagari, the spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces, said in a statement that "an elite unit of the IDF" and officers with the Shin Bet intelligence agency are now escorting the 12 Israelis back to the Hatzeri base in Israel. Another was taken to a hospital by air.
Israel was holding 4,764 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, often without legal protections, ahead of the October 7 attack by Hamas, according to data from the Israel Prison Service and published by the organization B'Tselem.
Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian Commission for Detainees and Ex-Prisoners' Affairs, told CNN that Israel began arresting more Palestinians after the attack by Hamas in October. There are now around 8,300 Palestinians currently imprisoned in Israel.
A group of 17 people, including four Thai nationals, were released by Hamas to the Red Cross on Saturday. In exchange, Israel released 39 Palestinian children and women detained in Israeli prisons. On Friday, 13 Israeli hostages and 12 Thai nationals were released.
Diaa Rashwan, the chairman of the Egyptian agency, said a truce has been continuing unimpeded for a third day in Gaza because of "intensive efforts made by Egypt in cooperation with Qatar, which is making appreciated efforts that deserve salute and thanks."
"These joint efforts resulted in beginning the truce on schedule, success in overcoming the obstacles faced yesterday, and the return to implementing all its provisions agreed upon by the Palestinian and Israeli sides," Rashwan said of the cooperation between Egypt and Qatar.
Meanwhile, the Palestine Red Crescent Society confirmed Sunday that a second batch of humanitarian aid, including 50 trucks from Egypt, had crossed through the Rafah border.
And despite the truce, Israeli occupation forces targeted farmers in the Al-Maghazi camp in northern Gaza, killing one of them, the PRCS said.