Who is expected to be released and what will the trade look like? Here’s what you need to know
In the first release of Hamas hostages kidnapped in Gaza, scheduled for Friday afternoon local time, 13 women and children will be freed, Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majid al-Ansari said.
Al-Ansari could not provide details on who the hostages were or the route they might take for security reasons. However, many of the first 50 hostages are expected to escape through Egypt.
Their families and hostages have been notified that they will not be released, the Israeli government said.
Al-Ansari also said that hostages belonging to the same family would be released together in the first group.
Meanwhile, a total of 39 Palestinian prisoners will be released this Friday as part of the deal, an Israeli official told CNN.
The timing of the release was unclear, but the Israeli official said the prisoners would not be released until the Gaza hostages were back in Israeli hands.
The prisoners will be taken from Daman and Megiddo, two prisons southeast of Haifa, and will be taken to Ofer prison, south of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, for final checks by the Red Cross. The released prisoners are expected to be both male and female under the age of 18.
.Here’s what you need to know:
Two more months of fighting: Israel’s defense minister says he expects the military operation against Hamas to continue “vigorously” for at least two months after the brief ceasefire.
No names of Palestinian prisoners: A Palestinian official told CNN that he has not yet received a list of names expected to be released from Israeli prisons this Friday.
Biden hopes for release of 3-year-old American girl: US President Joe Biden has said he has his “fingers crossed” that a 3-year-old American girl held hostage by Hamas will be freed this Friday. However, he also mentioned that no further information will be provided until the deal is finalised.
The United States will contact the families of the American hostages: The government will contact family members of American hostages released from Gaza “once we confirm they are leaving Gaza,” a US official said.
Hezbollah fires rockets at Israel: The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah fired 48 rockets at the headquarters of an Israeli infantry division at the Ein Zeitim military base early Thursday. In a statement, Hezbollah said it fired a guided missile at Israeli Merkava tanks located near al-Raheb, near the Israeli town of Shtula, and targeted Israeli infantry forces in the area. Israel Defense Forces said they had “intercepted several missiles” and later confirmed they had used helicopters and warplanes to attack Hezbollah infrastructure and rocket launch sites in Lebanon.
The medical aid group says 80 aid trucks have entered Gaza from Egypt: The Palestinian Red Cross (PRCS) says it has received 80 trucks that entered Gaza through the Rafah border crossing on Thursday. PRCS says the trucks brought food, water, medical supplies, medicine and general relief supplies to Gaza. A large line of aid trucks line up at the Rafah border crossing on the Egypt-Gaza border. A lull will begin in the fighting between Israel and Hamas. The United Nations expects aid trucks to enter the area “immediately” once a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas begins, an official told CNN on Thursday.
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