Israel, Hamas Cease-Fire Holds Amid Prisoner Swap

Rally in Israel
Thousands participate in the ‘50 Days of Hell’ rally in support of hostages still being held by Hamas, outside The Museum of Modern Art known as the 'The Hostages and Missing Square' on November 25, 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The terrorist organization Hamas released more hostages over the weekend as a temporary cease-fire between the Islamist group and Israel unfolded more than a month since war broke out in October.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, 24 hostages were released on Friday, including 13 Israelis, 10 Thai nationals, and one Filipino. They were allowed to enter Egypt at the Rafah border crossing, where they were met by Red Cross workers. The Israeli hostages were reportedly released in exchange for 39 Palestinian prisoners being held in the West Bank.

The following day, Hamas released another batch of hostages. Some 17 individuals, comprising 13 Israelis and four Thai nationals, were part of the exchange, which involved the release of another 39 Palestinian prisoners, according to CBS News.

Sunday saw the release of another 14 Israelis and three foreign nationals. One of the hostages was a dual Israeli-U.S. citizen: 4-year-old Abigail Edan. Both of her parents were on October 7, when terrorists affiliated with Hamas infiltrated southern Israel, killing more than 1,200 people and reportedly kidnapping as many as 250 individuals and transporting them to the Gaza Strip. Israel responded with airstrikes and boots-on-the-ground military operations in the territory.

While noting that there was still a lot of work to be done in negotiations between Israel and Hamas, President Joe Biden pushed for more dialogue between the belligerents.

“Nothing is guaranteed, and nothing is being taken for granted. But the proof that this is working and worth pursuing further is in every smile and every grateful tear we see on the faces of those families who are finally getting back together again. The proof is little Abigail,” Biden said, per the Associated Press.

A number of nations have been involved in mediating the cease-fire and prisoner exchange, including the United States, Egypt, and Qatar.

Despite the pause in hostilities, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government was determined to finish its mission in Gaza.

“I have just spoken with President Biden with great emotion, also about little Abigail, of course. What a joy it is to see her with us, But, on the other hand, how sad it is that she is returning to a reality in which she has no parents. … I also told President Biden that at the end of the [temporary cease-fire], we will go to realizing our goals with full force: Eliminating Hamas, ensuring that Gaza will not go back to being what it was and — of course — releasing all of our hostages,” he said.

The overwhelming number of Palestinian prisoners being released by Israel are reportedly women and minors who were incarcerated for allegedly engaging in offenses ranging from property destruction to terrorist activity and attempted murder, according to Haaretz.

More hostages are expected to be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners on Monday, which will mark the end of the four-day cease-fire agreed upon by Israel and Hamas.

Roughly 11,000 Palestinians have reportedly been confirmed killed in Gaza since Israel began its retaliatory campaign to rout out Hamas from the territory, however, Palestinian authorities in the West Bank claim the number has surpassed 13,000, per the AP.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article