First group of Palestinian prisoners, Gaza-held captives freed following ceasefire deal
The first group of Palestinian women and children in Israeli jails in the occupied West Bank under a four-day ceasefire agreed between the Israeli regime and Hamas resistance movement.
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Buses carrying Palestinian prisoners who were imprisoned by Israel have arrived at the Beitunia checkpoint following their release from Ofer under a deal that followed weeks of ceasefire talks mediated by Qatar and Egypt.
The prisoners had been freed from three jails in Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank and then taken to the Ofer prison on buses.
Earlier, the Palestinian movement Hamas said a group of captives taken during its October 7 operation were also handed over to the Red Cross at the Rafah crossing and then transferred to the Israeli-occupied territories.
They included 13 women and child captives, some with dual citizenship. Hamas also released 10 Thai captives as well as one Filipino as the total number of Gaza captives released hit 24.
The Red Cross said that over several days it will transfer captives held in Gaza to Israeli authorities, and transfer Palestinian detainees to authorities in the West Bank.
The statement also said that the ICRC would bring in "additional medical supplies" to be delivered to hospitals in Gaza.
During a four-day truce, at least 50 captives are expected to be freed, leaving an estimated 190 other captives in Gaza. In exchange, 150 Palestinian prisoners were to be released, all women and teenage boys.
Hamas asked Palestinians in the city of Nablus to gather and welcome the women and children who are expected to be released from Israeli prisons.
The group said it is inviting people for a “massive reception.”
Media reports said Israeli forces fired volleys of tear gas at the people gathered outside the Ofer camp to welcome Palestinian prisoners.
The pause in fighting has triggered a mass movement of thousands of Gazans who had sought refuge in schools and hospitals from relentless Israeli bombardment that began on October 7.
There were multiple reports of Israeli forces breaking the truce by opening fire on Palestinians moving back toward their homes in northern Gaza.