When the Red Cross vehicle carrying Palestinian hostages reached the West Bank on Sunday morning, the third day of the Israel-Hamas war, the atmosphere turned celebratory. Seeing their loved ones coming back from jail, the family members started raising slogans of Allah-Hu-Akbar. He also cheered Hamas. Fireworks and celebrations continued throughout the night. Hamas released 13 Israeli and four foreign hostages, and in return Israel released at least 36 Palestinians.
These hostages and prisoners have been released as part of the second round of exchange of people held hostage by Hamas and Palestinian prisoners in Israel. Hundreds of people welcomed the bus of the International Committee of the Red Cross upon reaching Al Bireh. The crowd raised slogans of “Allah Hu Akbar” as soon as the bus arrived. Several young men stood on the roof of the bus. Many people present in the crowd were holding Hamas flags. They raised slogans in support of Hamas. The Israeli military said four of the hostages released by Hamas were citizens of Thailand. These hostages have been taken to Israel and are being reunited with their families.
Palestinian prisoners were trembling with fear even after being released from jail
Hamas has released a video in which the hostages are seen terrified and trembling, but most of them appear to be in good health. In the video, masked extremists are seen taking them towards a Red Cross vehicle. When a woman named Noorhan Awad arrived at the Qalandiya refugee camp near Jerusalem soon after her release, hundreds of people welcomed her as a heroine. In 2016, when she was 17, Awad was sentenced to 13½ years in prison for attempting to attack an Israeli soldier with scissors. “We send a message to our people in Gaza that we stand with you and support you,” Shurouk Duwiyat, another Palestinian woman who was released, told reporters.
7 children and 6 women returned on the second day after being freed from the clutches of Hamas
Seven children and six women were among the Israeli hostages released by Hamas on Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said. A kibbutz spokesman said most of the released hostages were from Kibbutz Be’eri. Kibbutz Berry was destroyed by Hamas terrorists during the attack on Israel on October 7. The released children were aged between three to 16 years and the women were aged between 18 to 67 years. A kibbutz spokesman said all of the released hostages either had a family member killed in the October 7 violence or had a loved one held hostage in Gaza.
The mother of 12-year-old Hila Rotem, who was among the released hostages, is still in Hamas custody, the spokesman said. Residents of the kibbutz have been living together in a hotel since the October 7 attack. A large number of people gathered in an auditorium of the hotel late on Saturday night and their joy knew no bounds when they saw the first photographs of their loved ones being released. (AP)
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