As Hamas Releases More Hostages, Longer Cease-Fire Appears Possible

Nov 27, 2023 | Hostages, Read Now

A third group of Gaza Strip hostages, including a 4-year-old American girl whose parents were killed in the Hamas raids on Israel, was freed on Sunday, raising the prospect more captives could be set free and a fragile truce extended.

The 17 hostages released by Hamas, who were seized when the militants raided Israel on Oct. 7, included three Thai citizens, one Russian and the little girl Avigail Idan, a dual American-Israeli citizen who was kidnapped from a kibbutz. She marked her fourth birthday in captivity in Gaza on Friday.

[The New York Times report continues]

With both Israel and Hamas poised to resume fighting at a moment’s notice, a collapse of the agreement might have quickly led to a resumption of the hostilities that have already killed thousands of people.

[The New York Times report continues]

Instead, late Sunday, responding to an offer by Israel to add one day to the cease-fire for every 10 hostages released, Hamas said it, too, was interested in extending the agreement.

[The New York Times report continues]

Hamas and its allies seized an estimated 240 hostages when they attacked southern Israel last month, killing about 1,200 people, most of them civilians. In Israel’s responding air and ground attacks on Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, more than 13,000 people have been reported killed.

On Friday, after protracted negotiations involving Qatar and the United States, Israel and Hamas paused the fighting for four days to allow the hostages to be released and food and other supplies to enter devastated Gaza neighborhoods.

Under the initial terms of the deal, Israel and Hamas agreed to a truce to allow for the exchange of 50 hostages held by Hamas and 150 Palestinian women and youths in Israel jails.


View in this November 27 New York Times report.