High-Stakes Hostage Swap: Qatari and Egyptian Mediators Break Deadlock in Israel-Hamas Conflict, Securing Release of 39 Palestinians in Exchange for 13 Israelis and 7 Foreigners

"Hamas Commends Qatari and Egyptian Mediation for Securing Temporary Truce with Israel"

Hamas has expressed its gratitude for the efforts led by Qatar and Egypt to ensure the continuation of a temporary truce agreement between the group and Israel. The truce began on Friday and Hamas stated that the Egyptian and Qatari parties have confirmed Israel’s commitment to all the terms and conditions of the agreement. This comes after a seven-week war and marks the first break in fighting. A Palestinian official familiar with the diplomacy confirmed that Hamas will continue with the four-day truce agreed with Israel.

Qatar’s foreign ministry, Majed Al Ansari, announced that the release of prisoners was delayed but obstacles were overcome through Qatari-Egyptian contacts with both sides. As a result, 39 Palestinian civilians will be released from Israeli prisons, including 33 children and 6 women. In exchange, 13 Israeli hostages will leave Gaza, along with 7 foreigners. The Red Cross confirmed that the hostages are on their way to the Rafah border crossing. An Egyptian government source also stated that the Red Cross has received the hostages in Gaza and they are en route to the border crossing.

US President Joe Biden spoke with Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, regarding the holdup over the hostage deal between Israel and Hamas. Following the call, it was confirmed that the hostage agreement was back on track and the International Committee of the Red Cross was moving to collect the hostages. Biden was briefed throughout Saturday morning on the latest developments of the deal.

Israel stated that its hostage release effort remains underway, despite a holdup earlier in the process. R Adm Daniel Hagari confirmed that the effort is advancing and the second group of Israeli and foreign hostages will be released in exchange for Palestinians in Israeli prisons as part of the four-day temporary truce between Israel and Hamas.

The Qatari emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, received a call from President Biden to discuss the implementation of the truce deal between Israel and Hamas. The leaders also discussed ways to reduce further escalation and increase aid flow to Gaza.

Hamas expressed its appreciation for the efforts led by Qatar and Egypt to ensure the continuation of the temporary truce agreement. The group stated that the Egyptian and Qatari parties have confirmed Israel’s commitment to all the terms and conditions of the agreement. This marks the first break in fighting in seven weeks of war. A Palestinian official familiar with the diplomacy confirmed that Hamas will continue with the four-day truce agreed with Israel.

Qatar’s foreign ministry, Majed Al Ansari, announced that the release of prisoners was delayed but obstacles were overcome through Qatari-Egyptian contacts with both sides. As a result, 39 Palestinian civilians will be released from Israeli prisons, including 33 children and 6 women. In exchange, 13 Israeli hostages will leave Gaza, along with 7 foreigners. Qatari and Egyptian mediators confirmed that Hamas agreed to release 13 Israelis and seven foreigners on Saturday in exchange for 39 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan stated that Israel has not fulfilled its part of the truce agreement and informed the mediators about Israel’s violations. However, the group affirmed its commitment to the truce sponsored by Egypt and Qatar. Hamdan also mentioned that 340 aid trucks had entered Gaza since Friday, but only 65 had reached northern Gaza, which was less than half of what Israel had agreed on.

Despite the truce between Hamas and Israel, the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon reported that Israeli fire hit one of its patrols in the country’s south. The incident occurred during a period of relative calm along the border between Israel and Lebanon. Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, the frontier between Lebanon and Israel has seen increasing exchanges of fire, raising concerns of a broader conflict.

In conclusion, Hamas has expressed its appreciation for the efforts led by Qatar and Egypt to ensure the continuation of the temporary truce agreement with Israel. The release of prisoners and hostages is underway, and both sides have confirmed their commitment to the truce. However, there are concerns about Israel’s fulfillment of its obligations, and incidents along the Lebanon-Israel border highlight the fragile situation in the region.

Martin Reid

Martin Reid

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