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Middle East: Ten more Hamas hostages are free – including three Germans

Middle East: Ten more Hamas hostages are free – including three Germans

According to the Israeli military, the Islamist terrorist group Hamas handed over ten more Israelis kidnapped in the Gaza Strip to the Red Cross on Wednesday, according to the Israeli military.

The Islamist Hamas has handed over a sixth group of hostages to the Red Cross as part of the ceasefire in the Gaza war. As in previous days, there were ten Israelis, the Israeli army announced on Wednesday. These include three Germans who also have Israeli passports, as well as a dual citizen each from the USA and the Netherlands, explained Majid al-Ansari, spokesman for the Qatari Foreign Ministry. In addition, two Russians and four Thais were released due to Hamas violence.

More than 150 hostages still held by Hamas

In return, 16 Palestinian minors and 14 Palestinian women would be released from Israeli prisons, Al-Ansari said. It was initially unclear whether the ceasefire, which according to previous agreements could end on Thursday, would be extended a second time and thus enable further exchanges. Qatar is confident that the progress of the past few days can be maintained and that a further extension is possible.

Earlier on Wednesday, Hamas said it had handed over two Russian hostages to the Red Cross. Hamas emphasized that these two abductees were released thanks to the efforts of Russian President Vladimir Putin. They were supposed to be handed over by the Red Cross to representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry. These releases, as well as those of a Russian on Sunday and the four Thais on Wednesday, are not part of the exchange agreement between Israel and Hamas.

So far, eleven of the hostages, the majority of whom are Israeli, have dual German-Israeli citizenship. According to Israeli information, more than 150 hostages are still being held in the Gaza Strip.

Negotiations for a ceasefire

Shortly before the end of the ceasefire in the Gaza war, intensive efforts were made to extend it. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged to “do everything in our power to extend the pause.” The Islamist Hamas said it was working hard on a possible extension, as a spokesman told the Al-Jazeera news channel.

According to the original agreement of the war opponents, the ceasefire could be extended to a maximum of ten days in order to enable the further release of hostages and Palestinian prisoners. Since the ceasefire began on Friday morning, it could then last until Monday morning. During the ceasefire, 81 hostages were released by Tuesday evening. In return, Israel has so far released 180 Palestinians from its prisons.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated.

Source: Stern

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