Live updates | Israel releases Palestinian prisoners and Hamas frees 11 hostages as truce extended | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
Subscribe

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Mostly Cloudy  21.2°C

Live updates | Israel releases Palestinian prisoners and Hamas frees 11 hostages as truce extended

This handout photo provided by the IDF on Monday Nov. 27, 2023, released Israeli hostages Tal Goldstein Almog, 9, left, and his brother Gal, 11 are seen as they return to Israel in an IAF helicopter, after being held hostage by militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. (IDF via AP)
Original Publication Date November 27, 2023 - 12:51 AM

A temporary truce between Israel and Hamas has been extended for two more days, the key mediator Qatar announced on Monday, which would have been the final day of the cease-fire.

In the fourth swap under the original four-day truce, 11 Israeli hostages, all women and children, were released from Hamas captivity Monday night in the Gaza Strip. Early Tuesday, 33 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons were freed and driven to the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

The truce deal has brought more shipments of fuel and supplies into Gaza — although aid groups say that barely makes a dent in the needs of the 2.3 million Palestinians who have endured weeks of Israeli siege and bombardment.

Monday’s releases bring the number of Israelis freed to 50, along with 19 hostages of other nationalities. So far, 150 Palestinians have been released from Israeli prisons.

Roughly 240 hostages were captured by Hamas in its Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel that ignited the war. One was freed by Israeli forces and two were found dead inside Gaza.

More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed since the war began, roughly two thirds of them women and minors, according to the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza. Some 1,200 people have been killed in Israel, mostly during the initial incursion by Hamas. At least 77 soldiers have been killed in Israel’s ground offensive.

Currently:

— As freed hostages return to Israel, details of captivity emerge.

— Qatar is the go-to mediator in the Mideast war. Its unprecedented Tel Aviv trip saved a shaky truce.

— Suspect in U.S. shooting of 3 men of Palestinian descent pleads not guilty.

— Elon Musk visits kibbutz attacked by Hamas.

— Representatives of European and Arab countries meet in Barcelona to discuss the Israel-Hamas war.

— U.S. Navy seizes attackers who held an Israel-linked tanker.

— With antisemitism rising as the Israel-Hamas war rages, Europe’s Jews worry.

— Find more of AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.

Here’s what's happening in the war:

FREED PALESTINIAN PRISONERS ARRIVE IN WEST BANK CITY

A Red Cross bus carrying Palestinian prisoners released by Israel arrived in the West Bank city of Ramallah early Tuesday.

Israel’s prison service said it was releasing 33 Palestinian prisoners in the fourth such release as part of the cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas.

The prisoners were greeted by cheering crowds who surrounded the bus as it made its way through the streets of the West Bank city.

So far, 150 Palestinians have been released from Israeli prisons.

THREE OF THE NEW HOSTAGES RELEASED FROM GAZA ARE FRENCH CITIZENS

France says three of the hostages released from Gaza on Monday were French citizens, all three children.

“France welcomes the liberation of three of its children today: Eitan, Erez and Sahar,’’ the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement. ‘’They are now in security in Israel. We share the relief of their families and all those who mobilized for their freedom.’’

France thanked Egypt and the ICRC and for mediation efforts and Qatar for its ‘’decisive role’’ in the release, and said the French government is ‘’working tirelessly’’ to free five other French citizens held hostage. France’s president, foreign minister and defense minister have traveled to the region to push for the release of the hostages.

French media has identified the three children hostages as Franco-Israeli citizens Eitan Yahalomi, 12, Erez Calderon, 12, and Sahar Calderon, 16.

US SECRETARY OF STATE TO VISIT ISRAEL AND WEST BANK THIS WEEK

BRUSSELS — U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken will return this week to the Middle East for the third time since Israel’s war with Hamas began, a senior State Department official said Monday.

Blinken will travel to Israel and the West Bank after attending Ukraine-focused meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday in Brussels and Skopje, Macedonia, where foreign ministers from NATO and the Organization for Peace and Security in Europe are gathering, the official said. The official spoke to reporters traveling with Blinken on condition of anonymity ahead a form State Department announcement.

___

Associated Press writer Matthew Lee contributed.

11 MORE HOSTAGES RELEASED BY HAMAS ARE BACK IN ISRAEL

JERUSALEM — The Israeli military says 11 hostages have been released from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip late Monday

This is the fourth such release under a cease-fire deal with the Hamas military group. Israel is to free 33 Palestinian prisoners later Monday. The hostages were back on Israeli territory and undergoing initial medical checks before being reunited with their families.

The cease-fire had been set to expire early Tuesday. But Qatar, which has been mediating between the sides, said Israel and Hamas had agreed to extend the truce by two more days.

Israeli media said the hostages included two women and nine children. Two of the children are 3 years old.

200 AID TRUCKS ENTER GAZA, ISRAEL SAYS

JERUSALEM - Around 200 container trucks brought humanitarian aid into Gaza on Monday after being inspected by Israel, including a small amount of fuel, according to the Israeli military body that handles civilian affairs.

“Four containers carrying diesel fuel and four containers carrying cooking gas were transferred from Egypt to U.N. humanitarian aid organizations in the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing,” COGAT said in a statement.

The aid trucks brough “food, water, shelter equipment, and medical supplies,” the statement said.

FAMILY OF FREED 4-YEAR-OLD HOSTAGE SAYS SHE IS SAFE AND BEING EVALUATED AT A HOSPITAL

A day after 4-year-old Israeli American hostage Abigail Edan was released by Hamas, her family has given an update on the girl's well-being.

“Abigail is still being evaluated at Schneider Children’s Medical Center, where she was taken immediately upon her release,” the statement said.

The girl is “safe” and being looked after by her aunt, uncle and grandparents, the statement said. Her parents were killed in Hamas' Oct. 7 incursion into Israel.

MULTI-NATION TASK FORCE WILL CRACK DOWN ON HAMAS FUNDING

WASHINGTON – A multi-nation financial task force is working to crack down on funding for Hamas and other militant groups, U.S. officials said Monday.

Financial Intelligence Units in 13 western nations are looking to more effectively coordinate on financial intelligence and information sharing, and created the task force shortly after Hamas' Oct. 7 incursion into Israel, according to a U.S. Treasury statement.

The task force members emphasized “the importance of the private sector in achieving these goals, particularly in identifying and mitigating terrorists’ use of the global financial system,” the Treasury statement said.

The U.S. State Department designated Hamas a terrorist group in 1997. The European Union and other Western countries also consider it a terrorist organization.

Co-chaired by Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, and the U.S., the task force includes Australia, Canada, Estonia, France, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Switzerland and the U.K.

QATAR SAYS ISRAEL AND HAMAS AGREE TO EXTEND TRUCE FOR TWO MORE DAYS

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said Monday that an agreement has been reached to extend the Israel-Hamas truce for another two days.

The announcement, made by Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majid Al Ansary in post on X, came on the final day of the original four-day truce between the warring sides.

Israel has said it would extend the cease-fire by one day for every 10 additional hostages released. Hamas has also said it hopes to extend the truce.

ELDERLY ISRAELI HOSTAGE STILL IN CRITICAL CONDITION A DAY AFTER RELEASE

The 84-year-old Israeli hostage Elma Avraham is still in critical condition a day after she was released from Hamas captivity and airlifted directly to a hospital, her doctors said Monday.

"If she wasn’t brought to us yesterday, or if there was any delay in her arrival, her condition would have deteriorated further,” Dr. Tzachi Slotsky, the deputy administrator of Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheba, said in a news conference.

Avraham’s daughter, Tali Amano, said her mother left Gaza just “hours from death” with a body temperature of 28 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit). Avraham is currently intubated and sedated, but Amano was able to tell her mother beforehand of a new great-grandchild born while she was in captivity.

Amano said her mother had several chronic conditions that required regular medication, but her health was stable before she was kidnapped. She said the family met multiple times with the Red Cross, medications in hand, imploring the aid group to find a way to get the medications to her mother.

“We are so happy to see everyone who returned before her, waving and healthy, but my mother did not deserve to return this way, she was severely medically neglected,” said Amano.

“We are here today to try to save who is still left," Amano told reporters, "so someone will be able to convince the Red Cross and all the women’s organizations to act, so someone will raise their voices and ask: Why are you there? What are you doing?”

Responding to Avraham’s comments, The International Committee of the Red Cross said Monday that they are currently unable to deliver medicine directly to hostages despite requests from family members.

“As soon as we would have the right to visit the hostages, we will be ready with the necessary medicines and other aid in hand to deliver,” said ICRC Media Chief Jason Straziuso, in a brief statement shared with The Associated Press.

“We continue calling for access to the hostages, as we´ve done from Day 1, and we are ready to carry out those visits,” he said. The statement did not offer details about what has prevented the organization from accessing hostages.

ELON MUSK VISITS A KIBBUTZ THAT WAS ATTACKED BY HAMAS

Elon Musk, who’s been under fire over accusations of antisemitism flourishing on his social media platform X, paid a visit Monday to Israel, where he toured a kibbutz that was attacked last month by Hamas militants.

The billionaire and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toured the Kfar Azza kibbutz, which was stormed by Hamas militants on Oct. 7. Musk, wearing a protective vest and escorted by a phalanx of security personnel, used his phone to take photos or videos of the devastation, according to video released by Netanyahu’s office.

“The platforms you lead, unfortunately, have a huge reservoir of hatred, hatred of Jews, and anti-Semitism,” Israeli President Isaac Herzog told Musk during their meeting.

“It’s amazing what humans can do if there are fed lies since they were children, they will think that murdering innocents is a good thing, which shows how much propaganda can affect people’s minds,” Musk said, according to a statement released by Herzog’s office.

Government spokesperson Eylon Levy declined to say whether Musk was invited or came on his own. X, formerly known as Twitter, did not respond to a request for comment.

Israel’s communications minister, Shlomo Karhi, posted on X earlier Monday about a deal that his ministry had reached with Musk’s Starlink satellite internet company.

“As a result of this significant agreement, Starlink satellite units can only be operated in Israel with the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Communications, including the Gaza Strip,” Karhi wrote, without providing further details.

Musk had responded on X this month to a user who accused Jews of hating white people and professing indifference to antisemitism by saying, “You have said the actual truth.”

PALESTINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS TRUCE MUST BE EXTENDED

BARCELONA, Spain — Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riad al-Malki says the pause in fighting that is about to expire in the Israel-Hamas war must be extended to avoid more deaths in Gaza.

“We have work so that this truce continues … so that Israel does not continue attacking,” al-Malki said Monday at a meeting of delegations from members of the European Union and countries from north Africa and the Middle East in Barcelona, Spain.

“The truce went into effect with 15,000 deaths. If we see the war resume, then the number of deaths will double because the concentration of the population is now twicefold,” he said.

“The population of Gaza has concentrated in the south of Gaza,” he said, speaking in Spanish. “So any attack that before killed one child will now kill two. That is why it is important to extend this truce.”

Al-Malki is one of 42 representatives of different countries and territories attending the Union for the Mediterranean meeting, which is focused on the war that has raged since Hamas militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

The pause in hostilities between Israel and Hamas continued Sunday with a third day of releases of hostages and Palestinian prisoners. It was scheduled for four days and neither side has made fully clear what comes after Monday.

FREED HOSTAGE WAS ABLE TO FLEE FROM CAPTORS FOR SEVERAL DAYS, AUNT SAYS

JERUSALEM — A 25-year-old Israeli Russian hostage who was released from Gaza on Sunday night told family members he was able to flee from his captors and hide within Gaza for a few days before being recaptured, his aunt told Israeli public radio, Reshet B.

“He said he was taken by terrorists and they brought him into a building, but the building was destroyed (by Israeli bombing) and he was able to flee,” Yelena Magid, the aunt of Roni Krivoi, said in an interview Monday.

“He was trying to get to the border, but I think because he didn’t have the resources to know where he was and which direction to flee, he had some trouble,” Magid said. She added that he told her in a phone conversation that he was able to hide himself for about four days before Gaza residents discovered him and returned him to Hamas captivity.

“One thing that gave us hope from the start is that he’s a boy who’s always smiling and he can figure things out in any situation,” Magid said.

IN NORTH GAZAN TOWN, VIRTUALLY EVERY BUILDING IS DAMAGED

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza — In the north Gazan town of Beit Hanoun, virtually every building has been damaged by the ongoing conflict, some entirely leveled and others ripped open.

Associated Press videos captured on Monday show the extent of the destruction as the planned four-day truce between Israel and Hamas enters its final 24 hours.

A handful of residents searched beneath the rubble for anything of use or value. The U.N. Palestinian relief agency UNRWA's Beit Hanoun school was one of few buildings still standing, but with holes in its walls and roof, likely caused by missile or artillery fire.

The war-ravaged city has been largely abandoned after Israel called for Palestinians in northern Gaza to evacuate and head for the south.

UN EXPERTS CALL FOR A FULL INVESTIGATION OF ANY WAR CRIMES

BERLIN — Experts from the United Nations have called for full and independent investigations into any crimes committed by Israel and Hamas in their ongoing conflict.

The U.N. experts, Morris Tidball-Binz, special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, and Alice Jill Edwards, special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, said in a joint statement in Geneva on Monday that “independent investigators must be given the necessary resources, support and access required to conduct prompt, thorough and impartial investigations into crimes allegedly committed by all parties to the conflict.”

They urged all parties involved in the conflict to protect civilians, comply with their obligations under international law, and cooperate fully with investigations.

CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER TO LEAD SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING ON ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR

BEIJING — China’s top diplomat will travel to New York to lead a U.N. Security Council meeting on the war in Gaza on Wednesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi will chair the meeting, spokesperson Wang Wenbin announced Monday. China currently holds the Security Council presidency.

“China hopes that by holding this high-level meeting, we can ... contribute to alleviating the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, realizing a cease-fire and cessation of hostilities, protecting civilians and ultimately promoting a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian issue through a two-state solution,” Wang Wenbin said at a daily briefing.

The Chinese government has joined Arab states in calling for a cease-fire as Israel mounted counterattacks in response to the initial Hamas attack and taking of hostages. Hamas has released some hostages during a truce that began Friday in return for Israeli releases of Palestinian prisoners.

“The pace towards peace, no matter how small, should be encouraged, and the difficulty in protecting civilians, no matter how daunting, should be overcome,” Wang Wenbin said of the hostage and prisoner releases. “We have repeatedly emphasized that violence cannot create real security and the use of force cannot bring lasting peace.”

GERMANY TO HELP RECONSTRUCT HAMAS-DESTROYED COMMUNITIES IN ISRAEL

BERLIN — Germany says it will provide financial support for the reconstruction of communities destroyed by Hamas in Israel.

During a visit on Monday to Kibbutz Beeri, which was brutally attacked by Hamas on Oct. 7, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said his country would provide 7 million euros ($7.6 million) for the kibbutz in 2024. The money is for reconstruction of a cultural center and a meeting center for senior citizens, German news agency dpa reported.

“It is far too early to think about reconstruction now,” Steinmeier said during his visit, adding that nonetheless many residents who are currently staying elsewhere in Israel are already thinking about returning to Beeri.

“Beeri and the many other kibbutzim deserve not only to be part of Israeli history, but above all to be part of Israel’s future,” the German president said.

HEZBOLLAH WILL COMPENSATE LEBANESE WHOSE HOMES WERE DAMAGED BY ISRAEL, LAWMAKER SAYS

BEIRUT — A senior Hezbollah legislator said Monday that the Iran-backed group will compensate Lebanese whose homes along the Lebanon-Israel border were damaged by Israeli shelling and strikes.

Hezbollah militants and Israeli troops have clashed along the border since Oct. 8, stoking fears that the Hamas-Israel war in the Gaza Strip will spill over into the rest of the region. Though the clashes have been intense, with both combatants and civilians killed on both sides, they have remained largely contained to areas near the border. Hezbollah was not officially a party to the four-day truce between Hamas and Israel that took effect Friday, but calm has largely prevailed on the Lebanon-Israel border since then.

“What we are offering those affected is money and the efforts and capabilities of Hezbollah, and that is part of our battle,” said parliament member Hassan Fadlallah, who made the announcement at an event honoring a slain Hezbollah militant in the border town of Aita al-Shaab.

Fadlallah said the group surveyed most of the damaged areas in southern Lebanon, widely seen as a political and military stronghold for the group.

Israel and Hezbollah fought a monthlong war in 2006 that ended in a draw. Israel sees Hezbollah as its most direct threat and estimates that the group has about 150,000 precision-guided missiles pointed at it.

SIX TEENAGERS GO ON TRIAL IN THE 2020 BEHEADING OF A FRENCH TEACHER

PARIS — Six teenagers go on trial Monday in Paris for their alleged roles in the beheading of a teacher who showed caricatures of the prophet of Islam to his class, a killing that led authorities to reaffirm France’s cherished rights of expression and secularism.

Samuel Paty, a history and geography teacher, was killed on Oct. 16, 2020, near his school in a northwest Paris suburb by an 18-year-old of Chechen origin who had become radicalized. The attacker was in turn shot dead by police.

Paty’s name was disclosed on social media after a class debate on free expression during which he showed caricatures published by the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which triggered a newsroom massacre by extremists in January 2015.

SUSPECT ARRESTED IN SHOOTING OF 3 MEN OF PALESTINIAN DESCENT NEAR UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

Police have arrested a suspect in the shooting of three young men of Palestinian descent who were attending a Thanksgiving holiday gathering near the University of Vermont campus.

Agents arrested Jason J. Eaton while conducting a search of the shooting area in Burlington on Sunday, the Burlington Police Department said in a statement.

Authorities collected evidence during a search of Eaton’s apartment in a building in front of the shooting location. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, police said. Online court records did not list an attorney who could speak on Eaton’s behalf.

The attack that injured the three men on Saturday may have been a hate crime, authorities previously said.

Two of the men were in stable condition and the other suffered “much more serious injuries,” Burlington police said Sunday.

News from © The Associated Press, 2023
The Associated Press

  • Popular kamloops News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile