Sunday, June 23, 2024

Israel confirmed that it received 12 more hostages from Gaza on Tuesday. The release comes as part of ongoing negotiations for a broader hostage-prisoner deal. The U.S. had cautioned Israel it should fight more surgically and avoid displacing more Palestinians. The Israeli military stated that 10 Israelis, including three members of the same family, and two Thai nationals were among those freed. An additional 30 Palestinian women and minors were also released from Israeli prisons on Tuesday. This is the fifth such exchange since the cease-fire deal went into effect. Hamas has released over 60 hostages since Friday’s cease-fire, while Israel has also freed 180 Palestinians, most of which were women and minors. The top intelligence officials from Egypt, Israel, and the U.S., met in Qatar to negotiate further exchanges.

Mediators hope that a series of smaller agreements, including daily cease-fires, release of Israeli captives from Gaza, and allowing aid into Gaza, will create broader negotiation conditions. General Herzi Halevi of the Israeli military stated that the military is prepared to continue fighting. Hamas and Israel accused each other of violating the truce, but neither indicated they were pulling out of the agreement. It was not immediately clear whether the military’s announcement indicated that the return of the soldiers’ bodies would be linked to the release of additional Israeli hostages from Gaza.

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