More Israeli hostages released in extended Gaza truce

The delicate truce held through its seventh day after a 24-hour extension despite a shooting claimed by Hamas that killed three people in Jerusalem

By AFP

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Keren Shem, the mother of French-Israeli woman Mia Shem, holds a photograph of her daughter. — AFP file
Keren Shem, the mother of French-Israeli woman Mia Shem, holds a photograph of her daughter. — AFP file

Published: Thu 30 Nov 2023, 9:51 PM

Palestine group Hamas released two more Israeli women hostages on Thursday with more Palestinian prisoners to be freed under an extended truce that has paused weeks of deadly conflict.

With the current truce set to expire early on Friday, international bodies have called for a lasting halt to the violence, sparked by deadly Hamas attacks on Israel that prompted it to mount a devastating assault on the Gaza Strip.

The delicate truce held through its seventh day after a 24-hour extension despite a shooting claimed by Hamas that killed three people in Jerusalem.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to seek a longer pause that would allow further prisoner-hostage exchanges and more aid for displaced civilians in Gaza.

The Israeli military said on Thursday at least two women hostages had been returned from Gaza after being released to the Red Cross by Hamas.

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More were expected to be transferred "in the next few hours", it said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office named the two as French-Israeli dual national Mia Shem, 21, and Amit Soussana, 40.

Israel is due to release more Palestinian prisoners in turn, after the sides agreed to extend the pause in combat operations until Friday morning.

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