“It’s just the beginning, but so far it’s going well.” American President Joe Biden welcomed, Friday, November 24, the release of Palestinian hostages and prisoners on the first day of a truce between Hamas and Israel which is due to last four days. Twenty four first hostages, including ten Thais and a Filipino, arrived in Israel via Egypt. The Jewish state, for its part, released 39 Palestinians detained in its prisons. New exchanges (one hostage for three prisoners) are expected on Saturday between the two belligerents. “In the coming days, we expect dozens of hostages to be reunited with their families”, confirmed Joe Biden. Follow our live stream.
New releases planned for Saturday. Qatar, the key mediator in these negotiations, must announce on Saturday how many hostages and prisoners must be released during the day. Israeli authorities said they had received the list, but did not specify the number of people affected or the expected time of their release. “There are approximately 215 hostages remaining in Gaza”declared an Israeli army spokesperson, Doron Spielman. “We don’t know, in many cases, whether they are dead or alive”he added.
Ten Thais released by Hamas outside the agreement with Israel. Ten Thai nationals were released, not twelve as initially reported, the Thai Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Four of the ten people released had never been confirmed as hostages by Israeli authorities, the ministry added. “The number of Thai nationals still detained is now estimated at 20”specified the diplomacy of the Southeast Asian country.
Humanitarian aid was able to enter Gaza. This truce, which is supposed to last until 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, also allows the entry of a greater number of humanitarian aid convoys into the Gaza Strip, in a state of “complete seat” since October 9. On Friday, 200 trucks loaded with aid entered the Palestinian enclave, according to the Israeli Defense Ministry’s department responsible for civil affairs in Gaza. It’s about “largest humanitarian convoy” since the start of the war, underlined the United Nations agency responsible for humanitarian coordination (Ocha).