Thursday, February 22, 2024

Israel has released 240 Palestinian prisoners and detainees in exchange for 105 hostages freed by Hamas during a time of truce. However, the arrangement collapsed into fighting on Friday morning.

According to a New York Times analysis, the majority of those Palestinians released had not been convicted of a crime. The data showed that 107 teenagers under 18 and 66 teenagers aged 18 were among those released, as well as a 64-year-old woman.

The negotiations for the exchange had focused on women and children on both sides of the conflict. Citizens of Thailand, the Philippines, and Russia who were also freed through separate talks, as well as hostages who remain in Gaza.

The Israeli government had initially posted a list of 300 potential Palestinians who could be released through the deal, adding 50 names to the list as the exchanges progressed.

According to the Israeli data, three-quarters of the released Palestinians had not been convicted of a crime. Most had been in prison for less than a year and around 37 were arrested following the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks on Israel.

Israel detained all the people on the list for offenses related to Israel’s security and international human rights groups have criticized the practices as violating international law.

Out of the people released, 155 were from the West Bank; 72 were from East Jerusalem, and one was from Gaza. The lists also included some Palestinian citizens of Israel, which raised concerns among observers.

As of now, there are 110 Palestinians left on the Israeli list of potential releases under another pause and swap, although an agreement remains uncertain as both Hamas and Israel blamed each other for the breakdown of the truce.

Leanne Abraham, Rawan Sheikh Ahmad, Johnatan Reiss, and Josh Holder contributed reporting.

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