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First day of Gaza ceasefire: Hamas releases more than 20 hostages

First day of Gaza ceasefire: Hamas releases more than 20 hostages Photo: Hamas releases first group of hostages as agreed with Israel and Thailand (Getty Images)

On the first day of the temporary ceasefire between Hamas militants and the Israeli Defense Forces on November 24, the Hamas fighters released more than 20 hostages held in the Gaza Strip. Among them were Israelis, Thais, and one citizen of the Philippines, writes The Guardian.

Representatives of Hamas released the Israeli and Thai citizens as part of agreements reached with Tel Aviv and Bangkok.

This marks the first group of hostages released by militants during the four-day ceasefire. On Friday, they crossed the border into Egypt through the Rafah crossing. These individuals had been held captive by Hamas for 49 days.

The agreements between the parties also include the release of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. The exact number of released Palestinians is not specified.

According to media reports, the release of the 12 Thai hostages was agreed upon separately with Hamas, mediated by Qatar and Egypt.

As reported by Reuters, citing an official familiar with the negotiations, all hostages were men and were not covered by the ceasefire agreement with Israel, which applies to women and children.

Separate negotiations took place during the visit of the Thai Foreign Minister to Qatar on October 31.

According to the Thai government, following the massive Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 26 Thai citizens were taken hostage.

Hostage release and the temporary ceasefire

Earlier, it was reported that Hamas militants released the first group of hostages following the start of a four-day ceasefire with Israel. The former hostages were sent to the border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

In the Israeli press, it was clarified that 13 hostages, Israeli citizens, including mothers and children, were handed over to Red Cross workers.

It is worth noting that the day before, on November 23, Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated that the ceasefire would be short-lived. He emphasized that the Israel Defense Forces would continue their operation against militants for at least two more months.

More details about what Israel has negotiated with Hamas and how long the war will continue can be found in the material by RBC-Ukraine.

It should be noted that, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, on November 24, eight Ukrainians exited the Gaza Strip to Egypt. In total, over 200 Ukrainian citizens have already been evacuated from the Palestinian enclave.