Friday, July 19, 2024

Hamas released 11 Israeli hostages — all women and children taken from Kibbutz Nir Oz — on Monday, the fourth day of the cease-fire, according to the Israeli government.

The new releases followed an initial release of 13 Israelis on Friday, 13 more late on Saturday and 14 on Sunday. Some of those released are dual nationals.

An official briefed on the negotiations said that avoiding family separation was critical for the Israelis and that their concerns had escalated as the final day of the initial truce began on Monday. Two sets of siblings returned with their mothers to Israel late on Monday, but their fathers were believed to still be held in Gaza.

Here’s what we know about the Israeli citizens released on Monday.

Sharon Alony Cunio, her husband, David Cunio, and their 3-year-old twins, Emma and Yuli, were hiding in their bomb shelter in Kibbutz Nir Oz with Sharon’s sister, Danielle Alony, and her 5-year-old daughter, Amelia, when they were taken hostage on Oct. 7. The last message their family received from them on WhatsApp read, “Help, we’re dying.”

Their family members, including a cousin, Alana Zeitchik, have shared their story and pleaded for their release in meetings with political leaders around the world.

Danielle and Amelia Alony were released on Friday.

Ms. Zeitchik described Emma and Yuli as “the happiest twins you could ever imagine.” Their cousin Amelia, Ms. Zeitchik said, is the star of the family. “She’s this sharp, witty clever little girl, you can’t really get anything past her.”

“The damage that has been done to these children, this suffering and pain, it doesn’t end with their release,” she said, adding, “Their return is shrouded in a lot of pain and trauma.”

David Cunio, 33, is believed to still be in Gaza.

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