Gaza, MINA – Israeli prison authorities on Tuesday morning, said 33 Palestinian prisoners had been released under the terms of the humanitarian pause agreement. The freed prisoners included 30 Palestinian children and three women.
The prisoners arrived in the West Bank city of Ramallah. They were greeted with cheers as their bus passed through the streets. Waving the flags of Palestine, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, dozens of Palestinians gathered outside Israel’s Ofer prison near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank to await the release of other Palestinians. This release brings the total number of Palestinian prisoners freed by Israel during the four-day lull in fighting to 150 people.
Israel has approved the inclusion of 50 female Palestinian prisoners on a list of detainees scheduled for release if other Israeli hostages are freed from Gaza. The statement came after Qatari mediators said the ceasefire would be extended by two more days.
In the fourth batch of swap deal, Hamas released 11 hostages from Gaza who were then handed over to the Red Cross and taken to Israel. Thus, Hamas has released 69 of the approximately 240 hostages captured during the attack in southern Israel on October 7.
Qatar and Egypt have facilitated indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel. They said there was an agreement to extend the ceasefire for two days. Previously, Israel and Hamas agreed to a four-day ceasefire starting on Friday and ending on Monday.
“We have an extension of two more days. This is a very positive step,” Qatar’s Ambassador to the UN Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani told reporters after a closed meeting of the UN Security Council.
The head of Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS), Diaa Rashwan, said the extension would include the release of 20 Israeli hostages captured by Hamas in an October 7 attack in southern Israel. In return, 60 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons will be released.
Previously, Hamas reportedly wanted an extension of the ceasefire for four days, while Israel wanted an extension with certain conditions. An Israeli official reiterated Israel’s position that it would agree to an additional one-day ceasefire for the release of each group of 10 hostages. In return, the number of Palestinian prisoners released each time will triple. (T/RE1/P2)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)