Hamas releases 13 Israelis, 4 foreigners in third group of hostages

Three Thai hostages and one Russian is among the foreign nationals

By Reuters

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An International Red Cross vehicle carrying hostages released by Hamas drives towards the Rafah border point with Egypt ahead of their transfer to Israel on November 26, 2023. AFP
An International Red Cross vehicle carrying hostages released by Hamas drives towards the Rafah border point with Egypt ahead of their transfer to Israel on November 26, 2023. AFP

Published: Sun 26 Nov 2023, 7:57 PM

Last updated: Sun 26 Nov 2023, 9:59 PM

Hamas said on Sunday it had handed over 13 Israeli hostages, three Thai nationals and a person with Russian citizenship who had been held in the Gaza Strip to the Red Cross on the third day of a truce between Israel and the militant group.

The release of some of the hostages captured is expected to be mirrored by the Israelis freeing another group of 39 Palestinian prisoners as on previous days in the truce.

The four-day truce is the first halt in fighting in the seven weeks since Hamas killed 1,200 people and took about 240 hostages back into Gaza.

Israel bombarded the enclave, mounting a ground offensive in the north. Some 14,800 Palestinians have been brutally killed, and hundreds of thousands displaced.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday met security forces inside the Gaza Strip and indicated that the campaign was far from over.

"Nothing will stop us, and we are convinced that we have the strength, the power, the will and the determination to achieve all the goals of the war, and that is what we will do," he said.

Netanyahu is expected to speak to U.S. President Joe Biden later on Sunday.

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