The freed Palestinians were mostly young and not convicted of crimes

Hamas and the Hostages and Missing Families Forum: The Updated Gaza-Hostages-for-Pesioners Agreement

The latest move to prolong the truce that has temporarily halted Israel’s bombardment of Gaza coincided with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s arrival in Israel to push for a more permanent resolution to the conflict.

TEL AVIV, Israel — Hours after Hamas released another 16 captives in exchange for 30 Palestinians held by Israel, the two sides announced Thursday that they had agreed to extend their cease-fire in Gaza by at least another day to continue the hostages-for-prisoners swaps.

The Hostages and Missing Families Forum believes that Hamas still holds 145 hostages from Oct. 7, including 27 women and four minors — one girl and three boys all under the age of 18.

Two Israeli-Russians were released as part of the side deal brokered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, which Hamas said was the third such release since the exchanges began.

The U.S. was thanked by the Israeli President for its work in the release of hostages, during Thursday’s meeting. He mentioned that the Bibas family was still being held hostage. Israel says the family was handed over to another Palestinian militant group but Hamas says they were killed in an Israeli airstrike.

From day one, the US has focused on securing the hostages’ release. This week’s swaps of captives was a positive development, he said.

There was an increase in humanitarian assistance to go to innocent civilians in Gaza who need it the most. “So this process is producing results. It’s important, and we hope that it can continue.”

In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), Netanyahu offered condolences to the families of the victims and said his government would expand its efforts to distribute weapons to Israeli civilians.

Also on X, war cabinet minister Benny Gantz said the bus stop attack “is further proof of our obligation to continue to fight with strength and determination against murderous terrorism, which threatens our citizens. In Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, as well as everywhere. The West Bank is referred to by the biblical names Judea and Samaria.

On Wednesday, Palestinian officials said Israeli troops killed an 8-year-old and a 15-year-old during a raid on the Palestinian city of Jenin. Israel’s military says two people were killed in the raid.

According to the health ministry in Gaza, at least 13300 Palestinians have been killed since October 7.

While the cease-fire has allowed desperately needed aid to reach many Gazans, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Wednesday that the delivery of aid “remains completely inadequate to meet the huge needs of more than two million people.”

According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, aid convoys were able to get to areas north of an informal line in the Gaza Strip.

It said that the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and UNRWA, the U.N. relief agency that oversees the Palestinian territories, “delivered food and non-food items, medical supplies, and fuel to shelters hosting internally displaced persons (IDPs), as well as to warehouses and hospitals. The latter included two hospitals in Gaza city, Al Ahli and As Sahaba, which received a total 10,500 liters (nearly 2,800 gallons) of fuel, enough to operate generators for about seven days.”

The Israeli prisoner’s system in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack on Israel: a new look at Palestinian life in the New York Times

The New York Times compared the Israeli data with lists of the Palestinians released each day by the Palestinian Authority’s Commission for Prisoners’ Affairs. The Israeli data shows that three-quarters of the released Palestinians had not been convicted of a crime. Most had been in prison for less than a year; 37 were arrested during the Israeli military’s crackdown following the Oct. 7 Attacks on Israel were done by Hamas.

The Israeli government initially posted a list of 300 Palestinian teenagers and women who could potentially be released through the deal, and added 50 names to that list as the exchanges progressed. The list included people’s birth dates, the accusations levied against them and other information. It didn’t distinguish between those who were awaiting trial and those who had not been charged with a crime.

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