10 more Israeli hostages freed by Hamas in Gaza as truce extended 2 days

Hamas fighters accompany newly released hostages before handing them over to the Red Cross in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday. UPI Photo
1 of 8 | Hamas fighters accompany newly released hostages before handing them over to the Red Cross in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday. UPI Photo | License Photo

Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Twelve more Hamas-held hostages were released from captivity in Gaza on Tuesday, Israeli military officials said.

The hostages were transferred into Egypt at the Rafah crossing on Tuesday, according to Israel Defense Forces and as reported by ABC. A later report by CNN said the former hostages now are in Israeli territory.


The freed hostages include 10 Israeli citizens and two Thai nationals. The oldest freed hostage was 84 and the youngest 17.

The release came as the Israel-Hamas temporary humanitarian cease-fire was extended by two days to continue the exchange of hostages and prisoners.

Hamas has freed dozens of the suspected 200 people taken hostage in its initial attack on Israel on Oct. 7. In exchange, Israel has released some 150 Palestinians from Israeli prisons during the pause in Gaza Strip fighting.


The Jerusalem Post said 11 Israeli hostages returned to Israel on Monday, bringing the total released to 76.

Earlier in the day before the release, the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it had received a list of the names of those being released and that their families had been informed.

Israeli authorities also issued a list of 30 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons who would be freed, in line with the truce agreement, which calls for three Palestinians to be released in exchange for each hostage, Israel Army Radio said in a post on X.

Tuesday's release will leave about 170 Israelis held hostage in Gaza with Hamas saying it has another 10 it could release Wednesday, day two of the truce extension.

A further two-day extension is possible as the deal brokered by Qatar calls for extending the truce by one day for every additional 10 hostages freed, but Hamas says it does not have all the hostages, some of whom are being held by other armed groups.

While there has been no official comment from Israel, Qatari mediators hope they can build on the extension to secure the release of more captives and "prepare the ground for a more sustainable truce," Qatar's foreign ministry spokesman said.


Welcoming the extension, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the additional pause in the fighting would allow more critically needed humanitarian aid to reach Gaza.

The Palestine Red Cross said its crews were able to get another 40 trucks of supplies to Gaza City and other areas in the north of the strip Monday, bringing to about 200 the number of aid trucks that have reached the area.

The 11 Israelis released late Monday included 3-year-old twin girls Yuli and Emma Cunio and their mother, Sharon Aloni-Cunio, 34, and three members of another family, Karina Engel-Bart, 51, Mika Engel, 18, and Yuval Engel, 12, the prime minister's office said in a post on X.

Also freed Tuesday were Eitan Yahalomi, 12, Sahar Calderon, 16, Erez Calderon, 12, Or Yaakov, 16, and Yagil Yaakov, 12.

The Cunios were abducted from kibbutz Nir Oz in southern Israel on Oct. 7, along with David Cunio, Sharon Aloni-Cunio's husband and father of the twins, who was still being held. Sharon's sister, Daniele Aloni, and her 6-year-old daughter, Emilia, were released Friday.

All 11 have been reunited with their families back on Israeli soil.

Thirty-three Palestinians -- 30 children and three women released by Israel in exchange -- arrived in Ramallah in the West Bank early Tuesday.


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