Hamas: Israel-Hamas war: First group of hostages released from Gaza amid ceasefire

NEW DELHI: The first group of hostages were released by Hamas from Gaza on Friday as four-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas began.
Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said 12 Thai hostages kidnapped by Palestinian militants during Hamas’s October 7 raids into Israel have been released.
The releases are part of a temporary ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas, allowing sorely needed aid to start flowing into Gaza and setting the stage for the release of dozens of hostages held by militants and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

Who are the Palestinians who could be released as part of hostage deal?

Over the four days, at least 50 hostages are expected to be released, leaving an estimated 190 in the hands of Palestinian militant groups. Meanwhile, 150 Palestinians prisoners are expected to be released.
For Gaza’s two million-plus residents, the deal spells a respite from weeks of sustained Israeli bombardment. The territory’s Hamas government says the war has so far killed about 15,000 people and displaced countless more. The exact number of casualties is impossible to independently confirm, but it is clear that for many Palestinian and Israeli families, the pause in violence has already come too late.
Israel launched its devastating invasion of Gaza after gunmen from Hamas burst across the border fence on October 7, killing 1,200 people and seizing about 240 hostages, according to Israeli tallies. Little is publicly known about which hostages remain alive, or in what conditions the hostages have been held.
Since then, some 13,000 Gazans have been killed by Israeli bombardment, around 40% of them children, according to Palestinian health authorities. However they have said it has become increasingly difficult to keep an up-to-date tally as the health service has buckled under the Israeli bombardment.
(With agency inputs)

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