Israel-Gaza conflict: 10 Israeli hostages, 4 Thai nationals released from Hamas captivity

At least 10 Israeli hostages and four Thai nationals were released by Hamas members on the sixth day of the temporary truce on Wednesday (November 29, 2023).

Ten more Israeli people released from Hamas captivity. Photo Courtesy: IDF X page

Israel Defense Forces posted on X: ” 10 Israeli and 4 Thai hostages have just been transferred by the @ICRC to Egypt, and are currently on their way to the Kerem Shalom Crossing, where they will be received by Israeli security officials.”

“The hostages’ families are being updated by IDF representatives,” the defence force said.

Meanwhile, Israel has reportedly released 30 more Palestinians as a part of the truce.

Amid hopes of a deal to extend the pause in fighting in Gaza between Israel and Hamas on Wednesday (November 29, 2023), the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) reported that humanitarian assistance had reached its shelters in northern Gaza for first time since war erupted last month.

“As we drove through Gaza City it was like a ghost town; all the streets were deserted,” said Thomas White, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza. “The impact of heavy airstrikes and shelling was so visible. Roads are riddled with craters, complicating aid deliveries.”

Truce deadline looms

Wednesday marks the sixth and final day of a truce between Hamas and Israel that was facilitated by Qatar. Humanitarians have urged the warring sides to support repeated international calls to extend the pause in fighting, which has facilitated the reported release of at least 85 hostages by Hamas, and of more than 180 Palestinian prisoners by Israel.

The pause has also enabled humanitarian actors, primarily the Egyptian and Palestinian Red Crescent Societies and UN agencies, to “enhance” desperately needed aid deliveries into and across Gaza, according to aid coordination office, OCHA.

The UN office’s latest aid update noted that a Palestine Red Crescent Society convoy had reached the north on Tuesday carrying food, medical supplies, water, and non-food items, although the bulk of aid distribution has focused on the south, where most displaced Gazans now live.

In a statement, UNRWA said that on Monday (November 27, 2023) a six-truck convoy had reached Jabalia, the largest and most built-up refugee camp in Gaza, located north of Gaza City.

UNRWA colleagues in Jabalia continue to serve their communities day in, day out, including one of the agency’s sanitation services chiefs – “despite the unspeakable grief of his wife and daughter being killed”, said White.

Some 200 aid trucks have been able to cross into the enclave via Egypt every day since the pause in fighting came into force on Friday 24 November.

Images provided by UNRWA on X on Wednesday showed volunteers unloading sacks of supplies into a warehouse and a static fuel tank being filled.

More than 15,000 Gazans have been killed during Israeli airstrikes, according to the enclave’s health authorities, including about 6,000 children.