In the first release of Hamas hostages held in Gaza, scheduled for Friday afternoon local time, 13 women and children will be released, according to Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed Al-Ansari.
Al-Ansari was unable to provide details about the identity of the hostages, nor was he able to provide details about the route they might take for safety reasons. However, many of the first 50 hostages are expected to exit via Egypt.
The Israeli government said that their families and the families of the hostages who will not be released have been notified. Al-Ansari also revealed that hostages from the same families will be released together in the first group.
Meanwhile, an Israeli official told CNN that 39 Palestinian prisoners will be released on Friday as part of the deal.
The prisoners will be transferred from two prisons – Damon and Megiddo, both southeast of Haifa – and transferred to Ofer Prison, south of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, for final examinations by the Red Cross.
The released prisoners are expected to be women and teenagers up to 18 years of age.
The timing of the release of the prisoners is not yet clear, but the Israeli official said that the prisoners will not be released until the hostages from Gaza return to Israeli hands.
Here’s what you should know this Thursday:
Two more months of fighting: The Israeli Defense Minister said he expected the military operation against Hamas to continue “vigorously” after the short truce, for at least two months.
There are no names of Palestinian prisoners: A Palestinian official told CNN that he had not yet received a list of names of people expected to be released from Israeli prisons on Friday.
Biden hopes to release 3-year-old American: US President Joe Biden said he was “hoping” that a 3-year-old American girl held hostage by Hamas would be released on Friday. But he said he would not provide further updates until the deal is finalized.
The United States will contact the families of American hostages: An American official said that the United States will contact family members of the American hostages who were released from Gaza “after we confirm that they are leaving Gaza.”
Hezbollah fires missiles at Israel: The Lebanese Hezbollah group fired 48 rockets at the headquarters of an Israeli infantry unit at the Ein Zeitim military base earlier today, Thursday. Hezbollah said in a statement that it also fired a guided missile at Israeli Merkava tanks stationed near Al-Raheb near the Israeli town of Shtula, targeting Israeli infantry forces in the area.
The Israeli military said it “intercepted a number of launches” and later confirmed it had used helicopters and fighter jets to strike Hezbollah infrastructure and missile launch sites in Lebanon, in response to the militant group’s attacks.
The Medical Aid Organization says that 80 aid trucks entered Gaza from Egypt The Palestinian Red Crescent Society announced that it received, today, Thursday, 80 trucks that entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. The Palestine Red Crescent Society said the trucks brought food, water, medical equipment, medicines and general relief equipment to Gaza.
A large convoy of aid trucks is lined up at the Rafah border crossing on the Egypt-Gaza border – ready for when the fighting between Israel and Hamas begins to stop. The United Nations expects aid trucks to move to the Strip “immediately” after the start of the truce between Israel and Hamas, an official told CNN on Thursday.
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