ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Nov. 26: Freed hostage, 84, hospitalized in critical condition as 17 released from Gaza

Biden speaks to family of US-Israeli Avigail Idan, 4, among 14 Israelis and three Thai freed from captivity * Hamas video shows terror group still controls part of northern Gaza

  • Maayan Zin embraces her daughters, Dafna Elyakim, 15, and Ela Elyakim, 8, after they were released from Gaza captivity on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)
    Maayan Zin embraces her daughters, Dafna Elyakim, 15, and Ela Elyakim, 8, after they were released from Gaza captivity on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)
  • Members of the Goldstein-Almog family posing after members were freed from Hamas captivity, on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)
    Members of the Goldstein-Almog family posing after members were freed from Hamas captivity, on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)
  • A group of Israelis watch as a helicopter carrying hostages released from the Gaza Strip lands at the helipad of the Schneider Children's Medical Center in Petah Tikva, Israel, Sunday Nov. 26, 2023.(AP/Leo Correa)
    A group of Israelis watch as a helicopter carrying hostages released from the Gaza Strip lands at the helipad of the Schneider Children's Medical Center in Petah Tikva, Israel, Sunday Nov. 26, 2023.(AP/Leo Correa)
  • Residents of Kibbutz Kfar Aza watch news of the release of their neighbors in Shefayim on November 26, 2023. (Carrie Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)
    Residents of Kibbutz Kfar Aza watch news of the release of their neighbors in Shefayim on November 26, 2023. (Carrie Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)
  • 4-year-old Avigail Idan (right) seen in a Red Cross ambulance along with Chen Almog Goldstein and one of her sons, after being released by Hamas on the third day of the 4-day truce with Israel, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)
    4-year-old Avigail Idan (right) seen in a Red Cross ambulance along with Chen Almog Goldstein and one of her sons, after being released by Hamas on the third day of the 4-day truce with Israel, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)
  • 12 Israeli hostages arrive at Hatzerim base in Israel after their release from Hamas captivity, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)
    12 Israeli hostages arrive at Hatzerim base in Israel after their release from Hamas captivity, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)
  • Amir Tibon, second from right, grips his head with emotion as he watches a picture of Ela and Dafna Elyakim being released from Gaza on November 26, 2023, in Mishmar Haemek. (Canaan Lidor/Times of Israel)
    Amir Tibon, second from right, grips his head with emotion as he watches a picture of Ela and Dafna Elyakim being released from Gaza on November 26, 2023, in Mishmar Haemek. (Canaan Lidor/Times of Israel)
  • Israeli hostages released on November 26, 2023: Top L-R: Hagar Brodutch and children Ofri, Yuval and Oriya, Roni Krivoi; middle: Chen Almog Goldstein and her children Agam, Gal and Tal Almog; bottom: Avigail Idan, Elma Avraham, Aviva Siegel, and siblings Ela and Dafna Elyakim. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)
    Israeli hostages released on November 26, 2023: Top L-R: Hagar Brodutch and children Ofri, Yuval and Oriya, Roni Krivoi; middle: Chen Almog Goldstein and her children Agam, Gal and Tal Almog; bottom: Avigail Idan, Elma Avraham, Aviva Siegel, and siblings Ela and Dafna Elyakim. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)
  • Elma Avraham was abducted from her Kibbutz Nahal Oz home by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. She was freed on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)
    Elma Avraham was abducted from her Kibbutz Nahal Oz home by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. She was freed on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)
  • People pull carts carrying bags of humanitarian aid to be distributed in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 26, 2023 (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)
    People pull carts carrying bags of humanitarian aid to be distributed in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 26, 2023 (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)
  • Hamas hostage Dafna Elyakim is seen in a Red Cross vehicle as she is handed over to Israel, November 26, 2023 (Video screenshot)
    Hamas hostage Dafna Elyakim is seen in a Red Cross vehicle as she is handed over to Israel, November 26, 2023 (Video screenshot)
  • President Joe Biden speaks to reporters in Nantucket, Massachusetts, November 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)
    President Joe Biden speaks to reporters in Nantucket, Massachusetts, November 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)
  • Russian-Israeli Roni Krivoi is seen inside the International Red Cross vehicle at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt ahead of his transfer to Israel on November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)
    Russian-Israeli Roni Krivoi is seen inside the International Red Cross vehicle at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt ahead of his transfer to Israel on November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Sunday’s events as they unfolded.

Top Democrat decries rise of Islamophobia after 3 Palestinians shot in Vermont

US House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries is encouraging people to “unequivocally denounce the startling rise of anti-Arab hate and Islamophobia in America,” after three young men of Palestinian descent who were in Burlington, Vermont, for a Thanksgiving holiday gathering were shot and injured Sunday. Authorities say the attack may have been a hate crime.

“No one should ever be targeted for their ethnicity or religious affiliation in our country,” the New York Democrat says in a statement posted on X. “We will not let hatred win.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent, also denounces the attack.

“It is shocking and deeply upsetting that three young Palestinians were shot here in Burlington, VT. Hate has no place here, or anywhere. I look forward to a full investigation,” Sanders says in a statement. “My thoughts are with them and their families.”

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger says that any indication that the shooting could have been motivated by hate is “chilling.”

Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad says police are searching for the shooter, a white man thought to have confronted the trio.

“Without speaking, he discharged at least four rounds from the pistol and is believed to have fled,” Murad said in a news release. “All three victims were struck, two in their torsos and one in the lower extremities.”

Murad said there is no additional information to suggest the suspect’s motive.

Before Murad issued his news release, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee released a statement Sunday saying that the victims were Palestinian American college students and that there is “reason to believe this shooting occurred because the victims are Arab.”

 

 

Jordan foreign minister to press Europe on joining Gaza ceasefire calls

Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi says he hopes a meeting of Mediterranean officials will help bridge a gap between Arab and European countries in calling for a humanitarian pause in Gaza to become a permanent ceasefire.

Safadi notes that while Arab nations have demanded the end of what he called Israel’s “aggression” in Gaza, most European nations have not gone that far, instead calling for a “humanitarian pause.”

“We need to bridge the gap,” Safadi said, adding that the war “is producing nothing.”

Israel and some Western allies have rejected calls for a permanent end to the fighting with Hamas terrorists still in control of the Strip and able to repeat attacks like the October 7 massacres. Hamas also still holds over 100 Israeli hostages, most of them civilians.

But Safadi says the war’s only tangible result would be death.

“What is this war achieving other than killing people, destroying their livelihoods, and again, creating an environment of hate and dehumanization that will define generations and will take us a very, very long time to navigate through toward the future that we want,” he said.

Safadi’s comments come on the eve of Monday’s Union for the Mediterranean gathering that will bring to Barcelona in northern Spain 42 delegations from Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa, many of them represented by their foreign ministers.

He also accuses Israel of “acting on the fallacy that it can parachute over the Palestinian issue and have peace, the regional peace, without solving the Palestinian problem,” referring to regional peace efforts pushed by the US and ostensibly backed by Amman.

“The root cause of the conflict is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” he says. “We have a conflict because we have an occupation that Israel has been consolidating. Israel has killed hope for peace, has killed prospects for peace.”

Hamas publishes footage of it handing over 13 hostages to Red Cross inside Gaza City

An International Red Cross vehicle carrying Russian-Israeli hostage Roni Krivoi released by Hamas drives towards the Rafah border point with Egypt, ahead of a transfer to Israel on November 26, 2023. (Mohammed ABED / AFP)
An International Red Cross vehicle carrying Russian-Israeli hostage Roni Krivoi released by Hamas drives towards the Rafah border point with Egypt, ahead of a transfer to Israel on November 26, 2023. (Mohammed ABED / AFP)

A video released by the Hamas terror group this evening shows members of the terror group handing over the 17 hostages — 14 Israelis and three Thai nationals — to the Red Cross, in order for them to be taken to Israel.

The footage shows Hamas gunmen bringing some of the hostages to a square in Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighborhood — where the IDF had not reached in its ground offensive — passing crowds of Palestinians on the way.

In a show of force, armed Hamas operatives stand around the vans with 13 of the hostages, before the Red Cross arrives to take them.

The clip indicates that Hamas still has significant presence in northern Gaza, in the areas that the IDF did not yet capture during the fighting. It also indicates that some of the hostages are possibly being held in northern Gaza.

Those hostages were handed over to the IDF in northern Gaza, with one being evacuated by helicopter to a hospital and the other 12 taken in a convoy to the Hazterim airbase.

Like previous clips released by Hamas, the terror group members are seen waving at the released hostages, with some waving back. The video has no sound.

The footage also shows Hamas handing a dual Russian-Israeli citizen and separately three Thai nationals to the Red Cross in southern Gaza. Those four were taken to Egypt’s Rafah crossing, and later brought into Israel.

1,000 pro-Palestinian protesters shut down Manhattan Bridge calling for ceasefire

Far-left protesters shut down the Manhattan Bridge in a demonstration calling for a ceasefire in Gaza on November 26, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
Far-left protesters shut down the Manhattan Bridge in a demonstration calling for a ceasefire in Gaza on November 26, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

During one of the year’s busiest travel days in the US, over 1,000 far-left Jewish Americans and other pro-Palestinian activists block traffic at New York City’s Manhattan Bridge, in the latest anti-Israel protest calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

“Due to a demonstration, the Manhattan Bridge is closed in both directions. If possible, use alternative routes. Update to follow,” the NYPD says in a statement.

“Ceasefire, not genocide! President Biden pick a side!” they chant.

The US has opposed a ceasefire, explaining that it will benefit Hamas, which has vowed to carry out additional massacres like the one it executed on October 7.

Among those participating in the protest are activists from the far-left Jewish Voice for Peace group.

First image of Almog-Goldstein children arriving in Israel after being freed from Gaza

Gal and Tal Almog-Goldstein play with toys at the IDF Hatzerim airbase following their release from Gaza on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)
Gal and Tal Almog-Goldstein play with toys at the IDF Hatzerim airbase following their release from Gaza on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)

The first image emerges of some of the Almog-Goldstein children arriving in Israel after being freed from Gaza earlier today.

Gal and Tal Almog-Goldstein, who were released this evening from Gaza captivity, are seen in the photo playing with toys and games as they arrive at the IDF Hatzerim airbase following 51 days in Hamas captivity.

Their father, Nadav, and their older sister, Yam, were murdered by Hamas on October 7.

The children were released today, along with their mother, Chen, and their sister, Agam, 17.

President Isaac Herzog to meet Elon Musk tomorrow in Jerusalem

X (formerly Twitter) CEO Elon Musk attends an in-conversation event with Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London on November 2, 2023. (Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP)
X (formerly Twitter) CEO Elon Musk attends an in-conversation event with Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London on November 2, 2023. (Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP)

President Isaac Herzog is slated to meet tomorrow in Jerusalem with X and Tesla owner Elon Musk, who is visiting Israel amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, his office says.

Herzog says that he will be joined in the meeting by some family members of hostages beind held in Gaza. The president says that he will “emphasize the need to act to combat rising antisemitism online.”

Musk has come under fire in recent weeks for his endorsement of a virulently antisemitic trope on X, as well as the platform’s complete failure to crack down on rampant disinformation and hate speech amid the ongoing war.

White House says Biden, Netanyahu discussed need to ‘surge’ aid to Gaza in phone call

US President Joe Biden (L) meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023, (Brendan Smialowski / AFP)
US President Joe Biden (L) meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023, (Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the need to use the ongoing Gaza humanitarian truce to “surge” humanitarian assistance into the enclave, the White House says.

Israel has agreed to allow in at least 200 trucks of aid on each day of the four-day ceasefire in addition to fuel while also ensuring that aid reaches northern Gaza which has been the section most ravaged in the fighting.

Netanyahu also thanked Biden for his efforts to broker and implement the ongoing hostage deal, a White House readout of the call says.

“The two leaders agreed that the work is not yet done and that they will continue working to secure the release of all hostages,” the readout adds, noting that Biden and Netanyahu agreed to remain in close contact over the coming days.

They have spoken on the phone at least 15 times since the war’s outbreak.

Filipino Jimmy Pacheco freed from Gaza captivity released from hospital in style

Jimmy Pacheco, a Filipino caregiver who was taken hostage by Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, 2023. He was released on November 24, 2023. (Courtesy)
Jimmy Pacheco, a Filipino caregiver who was taken hostage by Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, 2023. He was released on November 24, 2023. (Courtesy)

Filipino caregiver Jimmy Pacheco, who was freed from Gaza captivity on Friday evening, is released from the Shamir Medical Center this evening with a cheerful sendoff from staff.

Pachecho was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz, where he lived, caring for Amitai Ben Zvi, 80, who was murdered on October 7.

The hospital also reports that the three Thai hostages who arrived there today after being released from Hamas are in stable condition. The 14 Thai citizens who arrived there on Friday and Saturday are still hospitalized.

White House indicates it does not support conditioning aid to Israel

President Joe Biden speaks to reporters in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on November 26, 2023. (Stephanie Scarbrough/AP)
President Joe Biden speaks to reporters in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on November 26, 2023. (Stephanie Scarbrough/AP)

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is pressed on two American morning news shows about President Joe Biden’s response on Friday to a question about whether he supports growing calls from the far-left wing of the Democratic party to condition aid to Israel based on Jerusalem’s human rights record, particularly in the West Bank.

“That’s a worthwhile thought, but I don’t think if I started off with that we’d have ever gotten to where we are today. We have to take this one piece at a time,” Biden responded.

Sullivan is pressed to clarify whether Biden supports the proposal and he indicates that the president does not.

“President Biden acknowledged the idea, but he went on to say that his approach, which was high-level private diplomacy, has actually generated results,” Sullivan says, pointing to the introduction of humanitarian aid into Gaza, after Israel initially blocked any from entering for the first two weeks of the war; the exit of thousands of foreign nationals from the Strip, the first pause in the fighting, which is currently in its [third] day; and the first major hostage release.

Pressed whether Biden might be willing to support conditioning aid to Israel in the future, Sullivan refuses to answer.

The US president’s response raised some eyebrows, as the Biden administration to date has opposed efforts to condition aid to Israel beyond stipulations that already exist in all security assistance packages, which critics claim are not applied to the Jewish state.

Ramallah crowd chants Hamas slogans as it celebrates return of Palestinian prisoner

Palestinians celebrate in Ramallah, shouting Hamas slogans, as they welcome home a released Palestinian prisoner, November 26, 2023, as part of a truce deal between Hamas and Israel. (Screenshot used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)
Palestinians celebrate in Ramallah, shouting Hamas slogans, as they welcome home a released Palestinian prisoner, November 26, 2023, as part of a truce deal between Hamas and Israel. (Screenshot used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)

A crowd in Ramallah welcomes one of the 39 Palestinian prisoners released today as part of the truce deal between Israel and the terror group Hamas.

In a video of the street celebrations that erupt when the prisoner arrives in the city, the young man is filmed among the crowd hugging his mother, a green Hamas flag wrapped around his head. The mother shouts, “With our soul, with our blood, we will redeem you Hamas,” prompting the crowd to chant the same slogan.

The phrase is a common Palestinian chant, usually applied to the redemption of the al-Aqsa mosque.

Another video from the mass gathering shows a woman shouting, “We did not come here to celebrate, but rather to cheer and show our loyalty to the resistance [i.e., Hamas] and Gaza.”

The green banner of the terror group is not commonly displayed in Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority under the control of Fatah, a rival group to Hamas, but has frequently appeared in images released over the past three nights from celebrations for released prisoners.

Biden speaks to family of 4-year-old US-Israeli freed from Gaza after he rallied for her release

People walk past an image of 4-year-old Avigail Idan, a hostage held by Hamas who was released on Sunday, projected onto a building in Tel Aviv, November 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
People walk past an image of 4-year-old Avigail Idan, a hostage held by Hamas who was released on Sunday, projected onto a building in Tel Aviv, November 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

US President Joe Biden spoke on the phone earlier today with members of the family of 4-year-old Israeli-American Avigail Idan, following her release from Hamas captivity earlier today, a senior Biden administration official says.

“The story of Avigail in many ways was a microcosm of the horror Hamas unleashed on October 7,” the administration official says in a statement to reporters, recalling how the young girl saw her mother killed in front of her in Kibbutz Kfar Aza during Hamas’s October 7 massacre and then ran to her father who shielded her with his body, as terrorists then shot him dead. She then ran to her neighbor’s home where she along with those inside were taken hostage into Gaza.

The US believes Idan was held in northern Gaza with those same neighbors, and Biden raised her plight in nearly every phone call he held with Israeli, Qatari, and Egyptian counterparts, the senior administration official says, adding that US officials have remained in touch with Idan’s family throughout the past 51 days of her captivity.

The Biden administration tracked her movement from northern Gaza as she was transferred from Hamas to the Red Cross and then re-routed directly into Israel, instead of Egypt’s Rafah Crossing because one of the other hostages she was with — an 84-year-old woman — needed urgent medical care, the senior official says.

“We are thrilled that Avigail is now home and back in the loving arms of her extended family. She will receive the care and attention she needs through the Israelis and we are also ready to provide all appropriate support,” the official adds.

Three freed Thai hostages arrive at hospital for assessment

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. (Mohammed ABED / 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. (Mohammed ABED / AFP)

The three Thai hostages freed this evening from Hamas captivity in Gaza have arrived at the Assaf Harofeh Hospital, the Foreign Ministry and the hospital confirm.

The ministry says that they will undergo a full physical and psychological array of tests, and will remain hospitalized while that happens.

The ministry says it is in regular contact with the Thai embassy, which is updating the families of all those released. They are slated to return home to their families once they have been released from hospital.

Netanyahu to Biden: We’re open to extending truce, but after that, war will ‘continue full power’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) speaks with soldiers inside the northern Gaza Strip on November 26, 2023. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) speaks with soldiers inside the northern Gaza Strip on November 26, 2023. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he told US President Joe Biden that he is open to extending the current truce, but once it is over, the IDF ground operation will return in full force.

“We brought home another group of hostages, children and women, and I am moved to the depths of my heart, the entire nation is, when we see families reunited,” he says in a video statement.

Netanyahu says he just spoke with Biden about the release, in particular orphaned US-Israeli citizen Avigail Idan, 4, “what a joy it is to see her with us. But on the other hand, what sadness that she is returning to a reality without parents.”

The prime minister points out that the current four-day truce can be extended to allow for more hostages to be released: “for every day another 10.”

Netanyahu says he also told Biden that “at the end of the deal, we are returning full power to carry out our aims: destroy Hamas, ensure that Gaza won’t return to what it was and of course to free all of our hostages.”

“I am sure that we will succeed in this mission — because we have no other choice.”

PHOTO: Maayan Zin reunited with her two daughters, Dafna, 15, Ela, 8

Maayan Zin embraces her daughters, Dafna Elyakim, 15, and Ela Elyakim, 8, after they were released from Gaza captivity on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)
Maayan Zin embraces her daughters, Dafna Elyakim, 15, and Ela Elyakim, 8, after they were released from Gaza captivity on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)

Maayan Zin has been reunited with her two daughters, Dafna, 15, and Ela, 8, Elyakim, after they were held hostage in Gaza for 51 days.

The first photo of them following their release shows the three embracing emotionally.

The sisters’ father, Noam, was murdered on October 7, as they were kidnapped.

Zin campaigned vocally and publicly for their release, even penning an op-ed in the Washington Post saying that she wanted to enter Gaza to be with them.

In a statement, Zin says “after a long period in which I lived in terrible uncertainty, my daughters are finally with me… the girls are returning to a new and complex situation, and now we have a period of recovery that will take time.”

“It is a joy mixed with sadness. Joy for my daughters who are here and sadness for those who have not yet returned. My heart will not be whole again until everyone returns home safely.”

Nahal Oz survivor predicts his kibbutz’s population will double after war

Nadav Peretz speaks to journalists in Mishmar Haemek on November 26, 2023. (Canaan Lidor/Times of Israel)
Nadav Peretz speaks to journalists in Mishmar Haemek on November 26, 2023. (Canaan Lidor/Times of Israel)

Kibbutz Nahal Oz, where terrorists on October 7 murdered 14 people and abducted seven others, is about to double its population, Nadav Peretz says confidently.

“We were in the midst of a population boom when the attack happened,” Peretz, the kibbutz’s growth officer, tells The Times of Israel this evening, following the release of three members from captivity in Gaza.

“In the beginning, I thought the attack would end it all. But we’re seeing so much interest now. I’m telling you, we’re about to double our numbers in just a couple of years,” adds Peretz, 43, who works in risk assessment.

Like many Israelis, Peretz feels conflicted about the deal that led to the release: “We want two things. To see Hamas destroyed and to free the hostages. And right now, the latter outweighs the former. That’s the tradeoff,” says Peretz in Mishmar Haemek, a kibbutz near Afula where most Nahal Oz survivors are staying.

He attributes his survival to the fact that his home in Nahal Oz has two sheltered areas. “The terrorists came in and inspected one sheltered area, saw it was empty, and moved on.”

Peretz and his partner were in the other sheltered area, which had no lock, he recounts.

Footage shows return of Haran, Shoham family to Israel last night

Yahel Shoham, 3, is seen with grandmother Shoshan Haran, 67, upon their return to Israel after 50 days in Hamas captivity in Gaza, where they were held with Yahel's mother Adi and her son Naveh, 8, on November 25, 2023. (Courtesy)
Yahel Shoham, 3, is seen with grandmother Shoshan Haran, 67, upon their return to Israel after 50 days in Hamas captivity in Gaza, where they were held with Yahel's mother Adi and her son Naveh, 8, on November 25, 2023. (Courtesy)

Newly released footage and photos show the return of some of the Haran and Shoham family to Israel in the early hours of this morning, following 50 days in Hamas captivity.

The photos, shared by the Prime Minister’s Office, show Shoshan Haran, 67, her daughter Adi Shoham, 38, and Adi’s children Naveh, 8 and Yahel, 3, being received by IDF soldiers upon their arrival in Israel.

Yahel and Naveh’s father, Tal Shoham — Adi’s husband — is still being held captive in Gaza.

The young children were greeted with toys and games. Naveh can be seen jumping excitedly while on the phone, presumably with a family member.

3 Palestinian college students shot, wounded in Vermont in suspected hate crime

Palestinian college students Hisham Awartani, Tahseen Ali and Kenan Abdulhamid who were shot in Burlington, Vermont on November 25, 2023. (Husam Zomlot/X)
Palestinian college students Hisham Awartani, Tahseen Ali and Kenan Abdulhamid who were shot in Burlington, Vermont on November 25, 2023. (Husam Zomlot/X)

Three young Palestinian men who were in Burlington yesterday for a Thanksgiving holiday gathering were shot and injured — one seriously — near the University of Vermont, in what may have been a hate crime, authorities say.

The shooter has been identified only as a white man with a handgun who “without speaking… discharged at least four rounds” at the victims before fleeing the scene, Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad says in a statement.

Murad says all three victims are of Palestinian descent. Two are US citizens and one is a legal resident. Two of the men were wearing black-and-white Palestinian keffiyeh scarves.

“The fact is that we don’t yet know as much as we want to right now. But I urge the public to avoid making conclusions based on statements from uninvolved parties who know even less,” Murad says.

The White House says US President Joe Biden has been briefed on the incident and Bernie Sanders — one of Vermont’s two US senators — condemned the “shocking and deeply upsetting” attack, saying he looks “looks forward to a full investigation.”

AP contributed to this report.

France says it hopes Israel-Hamas truce lasts until all hostages freed

An International Red Cross vehicle carrying Russian-Israeli hostage Roni Krivoi released by Hamas drives towards the Rafah border point with Egypt, ahead of a transfer to Israel on November 26, 2023. (Mohammed ABED / AFP)
An International Red Cross vehicle carrying Russian-Israeli hostage Roni Krivoi released by Hamas drives towards the Rafah border point with Egypt, ahead of a transfer to Israel on November 26, 2023. (Mohammed ABED / AFP)

France hopes the four-day truce in Gaza between Israel and Hamas will last until all hostages held by the Palestinian militant group are freed, Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna says.

“We demand the release of our hostages and all the hostages. It would be good, helpful, and necessary for the truce to be extended to this end,” she tells BFMTV.

A number of French-Israeli citizens are being held. Israel agreed to a deal that is capped at 10 days, which would see only around half of the hostages freed, before the cabinet would have to vote again.

Footage shows emotional reunion between Sharon and Noam Avigdori and their family

Sharon Avigdori greets her son, Omer, in the early hours of November 26, 2023, after she was released from 50 days of Hamas captivity. (Haim Zach/ GPO)
Sharon Avigdori greets her son, Omer, in the early hours of November 26, 2023, after she was released from 50 days of Hamas captivity. (Haim Zach/ GPO)

The Prime Minister’s Office releases footage of the emotional reunion in the early hours of this morning between released hostages Sharon and Noam Avigdori and their family.

The reunion took place at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, the PMO says.

In the footage, Sharon and Noam embrace their husband and father, Hen Avigdori, and their son and brother, Omer Avigdori, after they were separated while held in Hamas captivity for 50 days.

Maya Regev, who was shot then kidnapped, seen reuniting with her family in hospital

This undated family photo provided on October 16, 2023, shows Maya Regev, 21, center, and Itay Regev, 18, left, with their mother and a brother. (Regev family via AP)
This undated family photo provided on October 16, 2023, shows Maya Regev, 21, center, and Itay Regev, 18, left, with their mother and a brother. (Regev family via AP)

Footage from earlier today shows Maya Regev, 21, who was among the group of hostages released from Gaza late Saturday night, reuniting with her family in the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.

Regev was shot in the leg at the Supernova music festival on October 7 before she was kidnapped to the Strip.

She was brought straight to Soroka for medical treatment and underwent surgery.

Regev can been seen tearfully reuniting with her mother in the hospital after 50 days of Hamas captivity.

Her 18-year-old brother, Itai, is still held hostage in Gaza.

Hospital says freed hostage Elma Avraham, 84, is in life-threatening condition

Elma Avraham was abducted from her Kibbutz Nahal Oz home by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. She was freed on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)
Elma Avraham was abducted from her Kibbutz Nahal Oz home by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. She was freed on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)

Soroka Hospital in Beersheba says released hostage 84-year-old Elma Avraham, who was evacuated by helicopter to the medical center, is in serious and life-threatening condition.

In a short statement, Soroka says Avraham is in “poor physical condition and severe clinical condition.”

Elma Avraham is abducted by terrorists on October 7, 2023 (Kan TV screenshot; used in accordance with clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said earlier that Avraham was taken to Soroka directly from the Gaza Strip by helicopter, due to her health condition.

US official: IDF should only move into south Gaza once it has ensured civilians are safe

IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip before a ceasefire enters effect, in handout photos released for publication on November 24, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip before a ceasefire enters effect, in handout photos released for publication on November 24, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says the Biden administration wants Israel to “learn the lessons” of its ground incursion in northern Gaza and not begin operating in southern Gaza until it can ensure that Palestinian civilians can avoid the bombing.

Speaking with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Sullivan stresses that the US still supports Israel’s plans to continue prosecuting its war against Hamas once the temporary ceasefire concludes.

“Ultimately, Israel is going to want to continue to conduct military operations against Hamas, particularly [against] the leadership of Hamas [who] were the architects of this brutal, bloody massacre — the worst massacre of the Jewish people since the Holocaust,” he says, pointing to a pledge by a senior Hamas official to continue perpetrating October 7-style massacres until Israel is defeated.

However, Sullivan reiterates that the US only approves the IDF expanding its operation to the south of Gaza “after civilians have been accounted for, have the opportunity to be in safety, have access to humanitarian assistance and to be out of the way of any military operation that is conducted.”

The stance is the latest indication that the US thinks Israel has not done enough to protect civilians, as the death toll climbs over 14,000 in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, though it cannot be verified. Moreover, the figure does not differentiate between civilians and terrorists and includes in its tally civilians killed by errant Palestinian rocket fire, but claims that the majority of those who have been killed are women and children.

Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden was asked about Israel’s operations at Gaza City’s Shifa hospital where Hamas has placed one of its command centers. Biden defended Israel’s conduct there, but revealed that he felt differently about some of the IDF’s earlier operations.

“This is a different story than I believe was occurring before, an indiscriminate bombing,” Biden said then.

Avigail Idan’s grandfather hails her release, says wound of her parents’ murder will never heal

4-year-old Avigail Idan's grandfather Carmel Idan speaks to the media after Avigail's release from Hamas captivity, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)
4-year-old Avigail Idan's grandfather Carmel Idan speaks to the media after Avigail's release from Hamas captivity, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)

Carmel Idan, grandfather of released hostage Avigail Idan, says he could not believe his eyes at first when he saw pictures of Avigail on her way back to Israel, after her release by Hamas.

“It was just wow. I didn’t believe it until I saw it,” he tells reporters outside his home. “Now I’m calm, but not completely calm because there is happiness, but there is also the absence of Roee and Smadar.” Avigail’s parents were murdered by Hamas terrorists at their home in Kibbutz Kfar Aza on October 7.

Carmel says he had understood that Avigail, 4, would be released in the first phase of the hostage releases, on Friday, “and we were looking. She’s not there! What disappointment. Russian roulette. We were waiting on the second day. Again, Avigail isn’t there! We couldn’t believe it.”

While it is an incredible joy to see Avigail on her way home, he says, “there are many people who haven’t yet come back. I greatly want them to be returned and that the IDF finish what it has promised: All the hostages [back] and Hamas [destroyed].”

Avigail Idan, 4, was taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023, from Kibbutz Kfar Aza. Both of Avigail’s parents were murdered. She was released on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)

He says he has “an open wound that will never heal” with the murders of Smadar and Roee.

Carmel says he has not been allowed to speak to or meet with Avigail yet. Asked what he’ll tell her when he is allowed to see her, he says, “I won’t tell her anything. I’ll kiss her, stroke her, hug her. Speak, no? There’s nothing to say.”

4-year-old Avigail Idan (right) seen in a Red Cross ambulance along with Chen Almog Goldste.in and her son, after being released by Hamas on the third day of the 4-day truce with Israel, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)

He thanks President Biden: “We love him very much for all the help he is giving us, to Israel. Keep going. Keep going. We don’t admire you. We love you.”

Avigail and her two brothers are dual US citizens, as was their mother.

Carmel says he has not said anything yet about Avigail’s release to siblings Michael, 9, and Amalya, 6, who survived the October 7 ordeal including by hiding for 14 hours in a closet. They are “in shock and with a psychologist,” he says. “They are deeply sad.”

Hamas formally expresses desire to extend truce beyond initial four days

Palestinians line up for cooking gas during the second day of the temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, November 25, 2023. (AP Photo/ Fatima Shbair)
Palestinians line up for cooking gas during the second day of the temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, November 25, 2023. (AP Photo/ Fatima Shbair)

Hamas announces in a statement that it is seeking to extend the truce beyond the initial four-day period in order to secure the release of additional Palestinian prisoners.

Thus far, 117 Palestinian prisoners have been released, and some 40 are expected to be released tomorrow, but Israel has a list of 150 more that it could release in the context of an extended truce.

This appears to be the first time that Hamas has formally expressed its desire to extend the truce past Monday.

With every additional day of pause in fighting, Hamas will have to release a further 10 hostages.

The deal approved by the Israeli cabinet says it can be capped at a maximum of 10 days and 300 prisoners released before it will require a new vote by ministers.

Survivor struck with emotion at the sight of Nahal Oz sisters’ release from Gaza

Amir Tibon, second from right, grips his head with emotion as he watches a picture of Ela and Dafna Elyakim being released from Gaza on November 26, 2023, in Mishmar Haemek. (Canaan Lidor/Times of Israel)
Amir Tibon, second from right, grips his head with emotion as he watches a picture of Ela and Dafna Elyakim being released from Gaza on November 26, 2023, in Mishmar Haemek. (Canaan Lidor/Times of Israel)

Amir Tibon grips his head with emotion as he studies the first picture of Ela and Dafna Elyakim, 8 and 15, after their release from captivity in Gaza this evening.

Tibon, a journalist and member of Nahal Oz, tells another journalist: “I worried about all of them, all the three members of our kibbutz. But I’m telling you: Dafna was the one I thought the most about. She was the sunshine of the kibbutz. I have been waiting for this picture for 51 days.”

The sisters and Nahal Oz resident Elma Avraham, 84, are part of a group of 14 Israelis released by Hamas today in return for 39 Palestinian prisoners.

Tibon, who survived the October 7 massacre thanks to his father, a retired general who rescued the family, is relieved to see the sisters are in good health.

“They look the same,” he says several times. But his forehead creases with worry at the sight of Avraham lying down in an ambulance during the transfer.

“She’s in a completely different state,” he says in Mishmar Haemek, a kibbutz near Afula where most of Nir Oz’s survivors have been staying since they were evacuated.

Gazan included among Palestinian prisoners released today

Police and soldiers stand outside the entrance to Ofer Prison outside Jerusalem, where Palestinian terror convicts will be released as part of a deal between Israel and Hamas, November 26, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Police and soldiers stand outside the entrance to Ofer Prison outside Jerusalem, where Palestinian terror convicts will be released as part of a deal between Israel and Hamas, November 26, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The list of 39 Palestinian convicts released today as part of the truce agreement between Israel and Hamas includes for the first time the name of a Gazan resident, Alaa Fathi Abdulhadi Abu Sunima.

Abu Sunima, who will turn 19 in a few days, is a resident of the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. He was arrested in June 2022, for entering into Israel illegally and for possession of weapons/explosive material.

He had previously been detained in November 2021, as he was trying to sneak through the security barrier that separates Gaza from Israel, and was released immediately afterwards.

It is unclear if Abu Sunima will be allowed to cross into the Gaza Strip from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing, or from Egypt through the Rafah crossing, or whether he will be sent to the West Bank until the end of military operations in Gaza.

The list of Palestinian convicts to be released today also includes 21 residents of East Jerusalem, as well as West Bank Palestinians from Ramallah, Hebron, Tulkarem (three each), Bethlehem, Jericho, Jenin (two each), Nablus, and Qalqilya (one each).

IDF says 84-year-old hostage taken straight from Gaza in helicopter in ‘serious condition’

Elma Avraham was abducted from her Kibbutz Nahal Oz home by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. She was freed on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)
Elma Avraham was abducted from her Kibbutz Nahal Oz home by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. She was freed on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says released hostage 84-year-old Elma Avraham was taken to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba in serious condition.

“Elma, who was returned to us in serious condition, was immediately evacuated by helicopter to the hospital. She was evacuated by IDF troops while still inside Gaza,” he says.

He says that, due to “medical reasons” and to ensure the safety of the hostages, 13 of them were escorted out of Gaza by special forces near the community of Be’eri, “in full coordination with Egyptian security authorities.”

Hagari says the war will not end until all the hostages are returned. “This is the ethical and moral duty of every IDF soldier and the bodies of the defense establishment,” he says.

Hundreds cheer vans carrying freed Israeli hostages as they head to IDF airbase

12 Israeli hostages arrive at Hatzerim base in Israel after their release from Hamas captivity, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)
12 Israeli hostages arrive at Hatzerim base in Israel after their release from Hamas captivity, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)

In a first scene of its kind since the hostage releases began, hundreds of cheering Israelis in Ofakim greet vans ferrying freed Israelis, as the convoy makes its way to Hatzerim Airbase near Beersheba.

Excited onlookers wave flags and their hands at those inside the vehicles, with some of the returnees seen waving back at the joyous crowd.

The convoy is heading to Hatzerim, where the freed Israelis will get an initial reception before being dispersed to hospitals to get a general checkup and to meet with their families.

Israel Prisons Service says 39 Palestinian prisoners freed under truce deal

Vehicles with Palestinian terror convicts who will be released in exchange for Israeli hostages held by Hamas arrive at Ofer Prison, outside Jerusalem, November 26, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Vehicles with Palestinian terror convicts who will be released in exchange for Israeli hostages held by Hamas arrive at Ofer Prison, outside Jerusalem, November 26, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel’s Prisons Service says 39 Palestinian security prisoners have been released under the terms of a truce agreement between Israel and Hamas.

The announcement comes after 13 Israeli hostages were freed this evening under the deal, along with three Thais and a Russian-Israeli dual citizen.

All the Palestinian prisoners being freed have been indicted on terror charges and many have been convicted for their crimes; they are all either female or 18 and under.

Footage shows Hamas handing over Israeli hostages to Red Cross inside Gaza City

This image grab taken from AFPTV video footage on November 26, 2023 shows International Red Cross vehicles reportedly carrying hostages released by Hamas in Gaza driving towards the Rafah border point with Egypt. (Belal Al SABBAGH / AFPTV / AFP)
This image grab taken from AFPTV video footage on November 26, 2023 shows International Red Cross vehicles reportedly carrying hostages released by Hamas in Gaza driving towards the Rafah border point with Egypt. (Belal Al SABBAGH / AFPTV / AFP)

According to footage broadcast by Al Jazeera, Hamas handed over some of the Israeli hostages to the Red Cross in Gaza City tonight.

The IDF said the Red Cross handed them 13 hostages near the border fence in northern Gaza. One was taken by helicopter to a hospital, and the other 12 were taken in a convoy to the Hatzerim airbase.

The Al Jazeera footage may indicate that the hostages were being held in areas of Gaza City that the IDF had not yet reached during its ground offensive.

Four other hostages, one Israeli and three Thais, were taken by the Red Cross to Egypt’s Rafah crossing.

The IDF says the four are now in Israel, after entering through the Kerem Shalom crossing, and will be taken by helicopter to hospitals to reunite with their relatives.

Hamas source claims terror group wants to extend truce by 2-4 more days

People pull carts carrying bags of humanitarian aid to be distributed to Palestinians, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 26, 2023. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)
People pull carts carrying bags of humanitarian aid to be distributed to Palestinians, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 26, 2023. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

A source close to Hamas says the terror group is willing to extend the current truce with Israel in Gaza for two to four days beyond its initial expiry tomorrow.

“Hamas informed the mediators that the resistance movements were willing to extend the current truce by two to four days. The resistance believes it is possible to ensure the release of 20 to 40 Israeli prisoners,” the source tells AFP, referring to the innocent Israeli hostages seized in the October 7 attacks.

As part of the deal, Israel has agreed to release three Palestinian security prisoners for every Israeli hostage released, with an additional 10 hostages released every additional day of truce, up to 10 total days.

Biden welcomes release of 4-year-old US-Israeli Avigail Idan who ‘endured the unthinkable’

President Joe Biden speaks to reporters in Nantucket, Massachusetts, November 26, 2023, about hostages freed by Hamas in a third set of releases under a four-day cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)
President Joe Biden speaks to reporters in Nantucket, Massachusetts, November 26, 2023, about hostages freed by Hamas in a third set of releases under a four-day cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

US President Joe Biden says he, his wife, and so “many Americans are praying” that 4-year-old Israeli-American Avigail Idan will be all right after she was released from Hamas captivity earlier today.

Idan saw her mother killed in front of her in Kibbutz Kfar Aza during Hamas’s October 7 massacre and then ran to her father who shielded her with his body, as terrorists then shot him dead, Biden says. She then ran to her neighbors’ home where she, along with those inside, were taken hostage into Gaza.

“What she endured is unthinkable,” Biden says, noting that she celebrated her 4th birthday on Friday in captivity and that he had personally pressed for her release in a recent call with the emir of Qatar.

Biden says he is continuing to work for the release of the remaining hostages, who include eight US citizens and one US Green Card holder. Two other dual Israeli-American nationals are also expected to be released during the ongoing truce. The seven others are male adults, who are not included in the current deal.

The US president says he is hopeful the truce will be extended and pledges to continue working until all hostages are released.

Israel has agreed to extend the four-day truce by an additional day for every extra 10 Israeli hostages released.

He says he has pushed for a pause for weeks in order to get hostages out of Gaza and more humanitarian aid into the Strip. Roughly 200 trucks of aid have entered Gaza during the past three days of the truce, the president says.

Biden notes that “innocent children in Gaza are suffering greatly as well because this war that Hamas has unleashed,” leading to the deaths of thousands of civilians.

He again stresses his plan to advance a two-state solution after the war.

“I get a sense that all the players in the region… are looking for a way to end this so the hostages are all released and [that] Hamas is…no longer in control any portion of Gaza,” Biden says.

First image emerges of Russian-Israeli Roni Krivoi after release from Hamas

An International Red Cross vehicle carrying Russian-Israeli hostage Roni Krivoi released by Hamas drives towards the Rafah border point with Egypt, ahead of a transfer to Israel on November 26, 2023. (Mohammed ABED / AFP)
An International Red Cross vehicle carrying Russian-Israeli hostage Roni Krivoi released by Hamas drives towards the Rafah border point with Egypt, ahead of a transfer to Israel on November 26, 2023. (Mohammed ABED / AFP)

The first images are emerging of Russian-Israeli Roni Krivoi after he was released from Hamas captivity in Gaza.

Krivoi can be seen in the back of a Red Cross jeep in Gaza and then in a photo after he was handed over to Israeli officials.

Krivoi was released tonight as part of a separate deal between Hamas and Russia, after President Vladimir Putin requested it.

The 25-year-old was born in Israel as the youngest sibling in a Russian family.

He was working as a sound technician at the Supernova festival on October 7 when Hamas terrorists stormed the gathering, killing and abducting hundreds.

Russian-Israeli Roni Krivoi is seen inside the International Red Cross vehicle at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt ahead of his transfer to Israel on November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)

Krivoi’s brother said that Roni is very strong mentally and physically, the kind of person who can keep everyone’s spirits up.

Kfar Aza evacuees erupt in cheers as they spot their neighbors released from Gaza

Residents of Kibbutz Kfar Aza watch news of the release of their neighbors in Shefayim on November 26, 2023. (Carrie Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)
Residents of Kibbutz Kfar Aza watch news of the release of their neighbors in Shefayim on November 26, 2023. (Carrie Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)

Kfar Aza kibbutz members erupt in cheers at the first glimpses of their neighbors and community members returning from Hamas captivity.

“There she is, look!,” screams an excited man, pointing at a giant screen broadcasting Channel 13’s live feed of ICRC transporting the freed hostages.

Each time a new face is identified, the crowd cheers, with several people clutching their faces until the next hostage is visually confirmed.

Families from Kfar Aza say they learned last night that several of their neighbors were scheduled to be released today, and have experienced an emotional rollercoaster capped by joy when the 14 Israeli hostages were confirmed a short while ago to be in Israeli hands.

“We didn’t sleep all night from excitement,” says Meitar Yacobi, 30, who grew up on the kibbutz, in a house sandwiched between the Brodutch and Goldstein families, both of whom have members returning from 51 days of Hamas captivity today.

Meitar Yacobi, who grew up in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, in Shefayim on November 26, 2023. (Carrie Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)

“No,” she says, she did not trust Hamas to release them as foretold, and “we were worried, we waited until the last minute to see if it would happen.” Her hopes were raised and then periodically dashed, especially following a report that the ICRC did not have complete confidence in today’s hostage transfer.

Yacobi, who is currently staying with her evacuated parents in Tel Aviv, says she came to Shefayim tonight for the solidarity.

“I came to see and to feel with everyone. We’re all feeling the same feelings, here they understand us,” she says.

“I am really, really excited and happy but it’s a happiness that coupled with pain because I have friends who aren’t being freed in this deal,” she adds, saying her “heart breaks” for them.

4 foreign hostages, 1 Israeli enter Egypt via Rafah on their way to Israel

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. (Mohammed ABED / 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. (Mohammed ABED / AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces confirms that four hostages, one Israeli and three Thais, have entered Egypt through the Rafah border crossing.

From there, they will be brought into Israel.

Another 12 hostages, handed over to the IDF in central Gaza, are en route to the Hatzerim airbase in southern Israel via jeeps.

One more hostage was taken directly to Soroka Hospital.

Nahal Oz’s emergency officer feels happiness and guilt at return of 3 kibbutz members

Rotem Katz exits the situation room of Kibbutz Nahal Oz in Mishmar Ha'Emeq, Israel on November 26, 2023. (Canaan Lidor/ Times of Israel)
Rotem Katz exits the situation room of Kibbutz Nahal Oz in Mishmar Ha'Emeq, Israel on November 26, 2023. (Canaan Lidor/ Times of Israel)

The return from captivity of three members of Kibbutz Nahal Oz brings out emotional turmoil in Rotem Katz, whose task in the kibbutz is to handle emergencies.

“It makes me happy, but it also shakes me to the core, it releases so many emotions,” says Katz, a 32-year-old high school math teacher, about the release of Elma Avraham, 84, and sisters Ela and Dafna, 8 and 15, as part of a group of 14 Israelis. Hamas terrorists murdered their father, Noam, on October 7.

One of the emotions is guilt, Katz tells The Times of Israel on Sunday evening, in between phone calls.

“It makes no sense, but these are people I was responsible for, yet one of the worst things imaginable happened to them. It’s jarring.”

Photos emerge of hostages crossing into Israel on Red Cross jeeps

4-year-old Avigail Idan (right) seen in a Red Cross ambulance along with the several other hostages released by Hamas on the third day of the 4-day truce with Israel, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)
4-year-old Avigail Idan (right) seen in a Red Cross ambulance along with the several other hostages released by Hamas on the third day of the 4-day truce with Israel, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)

First photos emerge of Israeli hostages crossing into Israel on Red Cross jeeps.

In the photos, 4-year-old Avigail Idan, whose parents were both murdered on October 7, can be seen in the back of a jeep, as can 15-year-old Dafna Elyakim, who is arriving with her sister.

Dafna Elyakim, 15, seen in the Red Cross ambulance leaving Gaza, along with several other hostages released by Hamas on the third day of the 4-day ceasefire with Israel, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)

Fourteen Israelis and 3 Thai nationals were released this evening in the third group of hostages feed by Hamas from Gaza as part of the truce deal.

Kfar Aza evacuees celebrate release of loved ones, demand rest be freed from Gaza

Residents of Kibbutz Kfar Aza watch news of the release of their neighbors in Shefayim on November 26, 2023. (Carrie Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)
Residents of Kibbutz Kfar Aza watch news of the release of their neighbors in Shefayim on November 26, 2023. (Carrie Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)

Hundreds of people are crowded into an event hall at Shefayim, waiting with bated breath for news of the latest hostage release.

Most are evacuees from Kibbutz Kfar Aza, home to the majority of the 14 Israeli hostages just released from 51 days of Hamas captivity.

Shachar Tzuk-Bazak, 32, who personally survived the October 7 massacre because she was away on a family vacation, but lost two family members to Hamas, says that she is “overjoyed” that several Kfar Aza residents were freed this evening, but holds the Israeli government and military responsible for both the failure that led to their capture and the failure to return the about 200 hostages remaining in Gaza.

“I’m overjoyed, but with every person being released, there is another person in captivity,” she says, adding that 19 people were kidnapped from Kfar Aza. “Half of them are getting released today and half of them are still in the cold, in the dark.”

Shachar Tzuk-Bazak, from Kibbutz Kfar Aza, at Shefayim on November 26, 2023, as her neighbors are being released from Gaza. (Carrie Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)

Tzur-Barak say that she expects the government to do all in its power to repatriate the remaining hostages. “I hold my government, my military chiefs responsible for their safety,” she says.

The Israeli government says military pressure created conditions for the current truce for hostages and prisoners swap, now in its third day. Tzur-Barak attributes the deal to international diplomatic efforts.

“Yes, I feel that those kids that are being freed today were in many senses left waiting for help that didn’t come” from Israel’s leaders, she says. “The gravitas of worldwide leaders helped to negotiate this deal. My government wasn’t enough, my military wasn’t enough to protect me and this is hard.”

Freed hostages Abigail Idan and Uriah Brodutch, both 4, are also from Kfar Aza. Tzuk-Barak says she wants to thank diplomats “for helping to get my nephew’s friends from kindergarten back.”

Woman from Nahal Oz says she feels ‘happiness filled with suspense’ at latest hostage release

Israelis await the arrival of 13 Israeli hostages released by Hamas on the third day of the four-day ceasefire, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)
Israelis await the arrival of 13 Israeli hostages released by Hamas on the third day of the four-day ceasefire, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)

Yael Raz-Lahiani is feeling “happiness filled with suspense” as news breaks of the return to Israel of three members of her Kibbutz Nahal Oz, as part of a group of 14 Israelis who are back from captivity in Gaza.

“We are breathing three sighs of relief. But we are not relieved, not until all seven members of the kibbutz who have been abducted are back,” says Raz-Lahiani, a mother of three, at a press conference at Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek near Afula.

Living here are most of the surviving members of Nahal Oz, a small kibbutz of about 400 where 14 people were murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7.

Gallant says IDF has killed more than 100 Hezbollah members so far during war

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks to troops of the Navy's Shayetet 13 commando unit, November 23, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks to troops of the Navy's Shayetet 13 commando unit, November 23, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says the IDF has killed more than 100 Hezbollah members, and destroyed dozens of its observation posts, weapons depots and other sites amid the fighting in northern Israel.

“The combination of all these tactical achievements will translate into a different situation, which will later allow the return of the residents [of northern Israel] under completely different conditions than when we started this campaign,” Gallant says following an assessment in northern Israel.

Biden to call Netanyahu today to discuss ongoing hostage deal, says White House

US President Joe Biden (left) with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023. (Haim Zach/GPO)
US President Joe Biden (left) with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023. (Haim Zach/GPO)

US President Joe Biden will call Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later today to discuss the ongoing truce and hostage deal, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan tells NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

This will be Biden’s 15th call with Netanyahu since the start of the war.

Sullivan stresses that Biden has been personally engaged in the hostage deal negotiations, again calling Qatar’s emir yesterday following Hamas’s delay in freeing the second group of hostages.

One freed elderly hostage being taken straight to hospital via helicopter

Israelis await the arrival of 13 Israeli hostages released by Hamas on the third day of the four-day ceasefire, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)
Israelis await the arrival of 13 Israeli hostages released by Hamas on the third day of the four-day ceasefire, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)

One of the elderly Israeli hostages freed this evening from Gaza is being taken straight via helicopter to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, the hospital says.

“These are sensitive times for both the families and the rescued hostages who have returned to Israel, and we wish to maintain their privacy and dignity,” the health ministry notes.

Various Hebrew media reports say the hostage is in need of immediate medical attention. The oldest hostage released tonight is 84-year-old Elma Avraham.

These are the 14 Israeli hostages released from Gaza today

Israeli hostages released on November 26, 2023: Top L-R: Hagar Brodutch and children Ofri, Yuval and Oriya, Roni Krivoi; middle: Chen Almog Goldstein and her children Agam, Gal and Tal Almog; bottom: Avigail Idan, Elma Avraham, Aviva Siegel, and siblings Ela and Dafna Elyakim. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)
Israeli hostages released on November 26, 2023: Top L-R: Hagar Brodutch and children Ofri, Yuval and Oriya, Roni Krivoi; middle: Chen Almog Goldstein and her children Agam, Gal and Tal Almog; bottom: Avigail Idan, Elma Avraham, Aviva Siegel, and siblings Ela and Dafna Elyakim. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)

Avigail Idan, 4, whose parents were both murdered on October 7 and has two surviving siblings, was kidnapped with her neighbors from Kfar Aza.

Hagar Brodutch, 40, and her children Ofri, 10, Yuval, 9, and Oriya, 4, taken captive from  Kibbutz Kfar Aza, while their husband/father Avihai was fighting off terrorists.

Chen Almog Goldstein, 48, and Agam, 17, Gal, 11 and Tal, 9, kidnapped from Kfar Aza. Their father/husband Nadav and daughter Yam were killed in the assault.

Elma Avraham, 84, taken hostage from Nahal Oz.

Aviva Siegel, 64, a native of South Africa, taken captive from Kfar Aza along with her husband, US citizen Keith Siegel, who is believed to still be in Gaza.

Sisters Ela, 8 and Dafna, 15, Elyakim — taken captive from Nahal Oz after their father, Noam, his girlfriend, Dikla and her son, Tomer, were murdered. Mom Maayan Zin has been face of the public battle for their return.

Roni Krivoi, 25, a dual Russian-Israeli national, was working at the Supernova music festival when he was kidnapped.

IDF confirms 14 Israelis, 3 Thai nationals have been handed over to Israel

Israeli hostages released on November 26, 2023: Top L-R: Hagar Brodutch and children Ofri, Yuval and Oriya, Roni Krivoi; middle: Chen Almog Goldstein and her children Agam, Gal and Tal Almog; bottom: Avigail Idan, Elma Avraham, Aviva Siegel, and siblings Ela and Dafna Elyakim. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)
Israeli hostages released on November 26, 2023: Top L-R: Hagar Brodutch and children Ofri, Yuval and Oriya, Roni Krivoi; middle: Chen Almog Goldstein and her children Agam, Gal and Tal Almog; bottom: Avigail Idan, Elma Avraham, Aviva Siegel, and siblings Ela and Dafna Elyakim. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)

The Israel Defense Forces says the Red Cross handed over 12 of the hostages to special forces and members of the Shin Bet security agency at the border fence in the central part of the Gaza Strip.

They will be taken to the Hatzerim airbase for an initial medical checkup and to make calls to their families. After which, they will be taken to hospitals to be reunited with their relatives.

One hostage was taken straight by helicopter to a hospital, the IDF says.

Four hostages were taken to Egypt’s Rafah border crossing, and from there they will be brought into Israel.

The IDF says it is constantly updating the families of the hostages.

US says it hopes truce will be extended ‘another day or 2 days or 3’ to release more hostages

Israeli soldiers gather near the border with the Gaza Strip in southern Israel on November 26, 2023. (Menahem KAHANA / AFP)
Israeli soldiers gather near the border with the Gaza Strip in southern Israel on November 26, 2023. (Menahem KAHANA / AFP)

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says the US is working to have the ongoing four-day truce extended by additional days in order for more than 50 hostages to be released, but that this will ultimately be decided by Hamas.

“It could be that the pause is extended for another day, or two days, or three days or even more,” Sullivan tells ABC’s “This Week.” “The ball is in Hamas’s court on that because what Israel has said is that it is prepared to pause another day of fighting for every 10 hostages that Hamas releases.”

“If the pause stops, the responsibility for that rests on the shoulders of Hamas, not on the shoulders of Israel,” the top Biden aide asserts.

Sullivan recognizes that the four-day truce allows Hamas the ability to “refit and retool” and also to “generate propaganda” on social media.

However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ultimately chose to accept the risks that come with this deal “because of the benefit they’re getting, which are these incredible images of people being reunited with their families — the humanity of it, the sense of accomplishment of that and the possibility and promise that more and ultimately, all of the hostages will come home,” he tells NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Thousands march against antisemitism in London, including ex-PM Johnson

Protesters hold placards, flags and banners during a rally against antisemitism in London, Nov. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
Protesters hold placards, flags and banners during a rally against antisemitism in London, Nov. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Thousands of people including former British prime minister Boris Johnson gather in London for a march against antisemitism, a day after large crowds turned out for a pro-Palestinian rally.

Johnson is joined by UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and other senior government officials at the march to express solidarity with the Jewish community.

Organizers billed it as the largest gathering against antisemitism in London for decades.

Marchers wave Israeli and UK flags and hold placards reading “Never Again Is Now” and “Zero Tolerance for Antisemites.”

People march against antisemitism, in central London on November 26, 2023. (HZ / Times of Israel)

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, the former leader of the far-right English Defence League, was detained by police at the march.

Yaxley-Lennon, more widely known by his alias Tommy Robinson, was among crowds of counter-protesters who clashed with police during an Armistice Day march in London.

IDF chief holds meeting to prepare for resumption in battle following truce

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi (center) holds an assessment with the head of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman (left), and head of the IDF Operations Directorate, Maj. Gen. Oded Basiuk, at the Southern Command in Beersheba, November 26, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi (center) holds an assessment with the head of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman (left), and head of the IDF Operations Directorate, Maj. Gen. Oded Basiuk, at the Southern Command in Beersheba, November 26, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi held an assessment at the Southern Command in Beersheba today to approve battle plans for after the ceasefire, the military says.

The IDF says the assessment was carried out with the commander of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman.

Israel is in the midst of a temporary truce with Hamas, which has seen the terror group release daily groups of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners and a ceasefire.

White House says Red Cross will soon visit hostages still being held in Gaza

International Red Cross vehicles carrying Israeli hostages released by Hamas cross the Rafah border point in the Gaza Strip on the way to Egypt on November 24, 2023. (Mohammed Abed / AFP)
International Red Cross vehicles carrying Israeli hostages released by Hamas cross the Rafah border point in the Gaza Strip on the way to Egypt on November 24, 2023. (Mohammed Abed / AFP)

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan appears to confirm Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertion that the Red Cross will visit the hostages not being released in the current truce deal.

Asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” whether the Red Cross has been able to see the hostages and about the condition of the 10 hostages with either US citizenship or a US Green Card, Sullivan responds that he doesn’t currently know the conditions of all the hostages.

However, “as part of the agreement… by the end of the fourth day, that is by the end of tomorrow, we expect to have that information,” he reveals.

“It is part of the agreement that that be done by the Red Cross and we expect that to be fulfilled,” Sullivan adds, indicating that Red Cross staffers will visit the hostages and relay their conditions.

The Red Cross has repeatedly refused to confirm that it has been notified of this clause of the truce but insists that it will visit the hostages if both parties agree that it should. Hamas has yet to publicly confirm having agreed to such visits.

Netanyahu enters Gaza, tells troops: ‘We will continue until victory. Nothing will stop us’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) speaks with soldiers inside the northern Gaza Strip on November 26, 2023. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) speaks with soldiers inside the northern Gaza Strip on November 26, 2023. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited troops in the northern Gaza Strip today amid the ongoing truce with Hamas, for the first time since the start of the war.

“We are making every effort to return our hostages, and eventually we will return them all,” says Netanyahu in a video released by his office.

“We have three goals for this war: eliminating Hamas, returning all our hostages, and ensuring that Gaza does not become a threat to the State of Israel again,” he says. “We will continue until the end, until victory. Nothing will stop us, and we are convinced that we have the power, the strength, the will and the determination to achieve all the war’s goals, and we will.”

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu visited one of the Hamas tunnels uncovered by Israeli troops.

He was joined by his chief of staff Tzachi Braverman, National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, his military secretary Maj. Gen. Avi Gil, and deputy IDF chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Amir Baram.

IDF says 14 Israeli and 3 foreign hostages have been handed over to Red Cross

A view of the Rafah crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt ahead of the expected release of Israeli hostages, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)
A view of the Rafah crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt ahead of the expected release of Israeli hostages, November 26, 2023. (Screenshot)

The Israel Defense Forces says that according to information provided to the military by the Red Cross, 17 hostages have been handed over by Hamas.

The IDF says the hostages include 14 Israeli citizens and three foreign nationals.

Thai ambassador visits 14 Thai hostages, freed from Gaza, in Israeli hospital

The Thai ambassador to Israel visits recently released Thai hostages at the Assaf Harofeh medical center on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)
The Thai ambassador to Israel visits recently released Thai hostages at the Assaf Harofeh medical center on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)

Thai Ambassador to Israel Pannabha Chandrara visits Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, where 14 Thai nationals recently released from Gaza captivity are being treated.

The hostages, 13 men and one woman, were released on Friday evening and last night as part of a deal arranged directly between Thailand and Iran, and not part of the ongoing truce/hostage deal agreed to by Israel.

Dr. Osnat Levtzion-Korach, director of the hospital, says that “due to the fact that the returnees from Thailand don’t have family in Israel, we are treating and caring for them here in a special manner and are providing all their medical and personal needs.”

Channah Peri, 79, heads home from hospital after being freed from Gaza

Channah Peri, center, waves as she leaves the Wolfson Medical Center on November 26, 2023, after she was released from Gaza captivity two days earlier. (Courtesy)
Channah Peri, center, waves as she leaves the Wolfson Medical Center on November 26, 2023, after she was released from Gaza captivity two days earlier. (Courtesy)

The Wolfson Medical Center says that Channah Peri, 79, who was released from Gaza captivity on Friday night, is going home.

Peri was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nirim on October 7. Her son, Nadav Popplewell, is still held in Gaza.

Dr. Anat Engel, director of the hospital, says that “these are moments of happiness and excitement mixed with pain and hope for the return of all of the hostages.”

Engel says that the hospital staff treated Peri “with professionalism and sensitivity and we have no doubt that Channah represents the resilience of the Israeli people.”

Health minister: Israeli released from Gaza says she told Hamas to let older hostage go instead

The hostages released by Hamas in an ambulance en route to Israel on November 24, 2023. (Screen capture/Youm7)
The hostages released by Hamas in an ambulance en route to Israel on November 24, 2023. (Screen capture/Youm7)

Health Minister Uriel Busso says he visited a released hostage in her 70s who told him that she argued with Hamas terrorists that others should be released before her.

In an interview on Channel 12 news, Busso says he visited a woman released over the weekend who is still in the hospital, and she told him that when they told her she was being released, “she said, ‘wait, but there is a woman older than me who is in worse health — don’t you think you should let her go first?'”

Busso says this shows the incredible strength she retained in captivity as well as her care for her fellow Israelis.

Doron and her kids Raz, 4, and Aviv, 2, head home from hospital following release from Gaza

Doron Asher and her two young daughters Raz, 4, and Aviv, 2, are reunited with husband and father Yoni, on November 25, 2023. (Schneider Children's Hospital)
Doron Asher and her two young daughters Raz, 4, and Aviv, 2, are reunited with husband and father Yoni, on November 25, 2023. (Schneider Children's Hospital)

The Schneider Children’s Hospital says that Doron Katz Asher and her daughters Raz, 4, and Aviv, 2, are heading home after they were released from Gaza on Friday evening following 49 days in captivity.

The hospital says that its staff are very “excited about this occasion,” and that “since their arrival, Schneider’s medical and psychosocial team provided them with therapeutic and emotional care in preparation for their return home.”

Eritrean given permanent residency in Israel after saving IDF officer’s life on Oct. 7

Interior Minister Moshe Arbel (center) shaking the hand of Eritrean Mulugeta Tsagi, who saved the life of an IDF officer (second from left), November 26, 2023. (Interior Ministry)
Interior Minister Moshe Arbel (center) shaking the hand of Eritrean Mulugeta Tsagi, who saved the life of an IDF officer (second from left), November 26, 2023. (Interior Ministry)

An Eritrean citizen is awarded permanent residency in Israel, in what Interior Minister Moshe Arbel calls a “thank you” for saving an IDF officer’s life on October 7.

Mulugeta Tsagi gave life-saving first aid to an IDF lieutenant colonel shot in the abdomen by Hamas terrorists in Sderot. Tsagi remained with the officer for hours, before helping transport him to a hospital.

The officer, named only by the Hebrew letter Yud, later asked Arbel to arrange Tsagi’s permanent residency.

Hamas, Moscow, confirm release of additional hostage today with Russian-Israeli citizenship

An International Red Cross Ambulance apparently carrying Israeli hostages -- elderly women and at least one child held in the Gaza Strip on November 24, 2023. (Screen grab via Al Arabiya used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
An International Red Cross Ambulance apparently carrying Israeli hostages -- elderly women and at least one child held in the Gaza Strip on November 24, 2023. (Screen grab via Al Arabiya used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The Hamas terror group in a statement says it has released a hostage with Russian citizenship.

It says the move comes “in response to the efforts of Russian President Vladimir Putin and in appreciation of the Russian position in support of the Palestinian cause.”

Earlier today, The Times of Israel reported that Israel was anticipating the release of at least one dual Israeli-Russian citizen on top of the 13 agreed-upon Israeli hostages.

The TASS Russian news agency cites Hamas as saying that the hostage has been handed over to the Red Cross already.

Girl freed from Gaza without her mom says they were split up 2 days before release

Mother and daughter Raya and Hila Rotem, taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from their home in Kibbutz Be'eri. Hila was released on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)
Mother and daughter Raya and Hila Rotem, taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from their home in Kibbutz Be'eri. Hila was released on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)

Hila Rotem Shoshani, a 13-year-old who was released from Gaza captivity last night without her mother, Raya, says that they were held hostage together until two days ago.

In a statement from Hila released to Hebrew media outlets that could not be independently confirmed, she says that “Mom was with me the whole time in captivity. Hamas separated us two days before the release. Mom was in good shape, we were together with Emily [Hand]. Hamas told us that there was a ceasefire and they were letting us go.”

Irish-Israeli citizen Emily Hand, 9, was at a sleepover with Hila when they were both kidnapped along with Raya on October 7.

Reports which circulated yesterday suggested that Hamas had claimed it could not locate Raya, which is why it did not release her with Hila despite promising not to split up mothers and children.

Syrian media claim Israel strikes Damascus airport and other targets

A blaze apparently caused by Israeli airstrikes outside Damascus, Syria, November 17, 2023. (X video screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A blaze apparently caused by Israeli airstrikes outside Damascus, Syria, November 17, 2023. (X video screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Syrian media report Israeli airstrikes against Damascus International Airport and other targets near the capital.

The pro-government Sham FM radio says the runway at the airport was hit, among other targets.

There is no immediate information on casualties in the strikes.

Damascus airport has been allegedly struck by Israel several times over the past year, as Israel is believed to be stepping up efforts to prevent the shipment of advanced weapons from Iran to its various Middle East proxies, chief among them Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Pope welcomes Gaza hostage release, says dialogue ‘is the only path to peace’

Faithful gather to attend the Angelus prayer on a screen, led by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on November 26, 2023. (Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)
Faithful gather to attend the Angelus prayer on a screen, led by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on November 26, 2023. (Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

Pope Francis welcomes a temporary truce that has seen some hostages set free in the Middle East, and prays for further releases.

“Today we thank God because there is finally a truce between Israel and Palestine and some hostages have been freed,” the Argentinian pontiff says in a statement read by a Vatican official at the weekly Angelus prayer.

“We pray that they all may be [freed] as rapidly as possible and that more humanitarian aid arrives in Gaza and that they insist on dialogue,” the 86-year-old leader of the Catholic Church adds in response to the release Friday and Saturday by Hamas of 41 Israeli and foreign hostages held captive by the terror group since October 7.

Dialogue “is the only way, the only path to peace. Those who do not want to hold a dialogue do not want peace,” Francis concludes.

Attackers said to seize tanker with links to Israel off the coast of Yemen

Attackers seize a tanker linked to Israel off the coast of Aden, Yemen, the ship’s managers and a private intelligence firm say.

While no group immediately claimed responsibility, it comes as at least two other maritime attacks in recent days have been linked to the Israel-Hamas war in particular the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

The attackers seize the Central Park, managed by Zodiac Maritime, in the Gulf of Aden, the company and private intelligence firm Ambrey say.

Zodiac calls the attack “a suspected piracy incident.”

“Our priority is the safety of our 22 crew onboard,” Zodiac says in a statement. “The Turkish-captained vessel has a multinational crew consisting of a crew of Russian, Vietnamese, Bulgarian, Indian, Georgian and Filipino nationals. The vessel is carrying a full cargo of phosphoric acid.”

Zodiac describes the vessel as being owned by Clumvez Shipping Inc., though other records directly linked Zodiac as the owner. London-based Zodiac Maritime is part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group. British corporate records listed two men with the last name Ofer as a current and former director of Clumvez Shipping.

Israel says Hamas is blocking entry of humanitarian aid into the northern part of Gaza

Israel says that the Hamas terror group is blocking the entry of aid into the northern Gaza Strip, posting an image of what it says is a checkpoint set up by the terror group.

“This is what happened about an hour ago on the road leading to the northern Gaza Strip,” the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) writes in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“A Hamas checkpoint blocked the trucks delivering humanitarian aid to the residents of northern Gaza,” COGAT says.

“To Hamas, residents of Gaza are their last priority,” COGAT says.

Earlier, COGAT announced that 200 trucks of aid had entered the Strip, with some destined for the northern part of the enclave.

The aid — including food, water, and medical supplies — is entering the Strip as part of the temporary truce between Israel and the Hamas terror group, mediated by Egypt and Qatar.

As part of the agreement, some 50 children and women held hostage in Gaza are being released over a four-day period, with three Palestinian prisoners released for every Israeli set free.

Last night, the release of the second group of hostages was delayed amid claims by Hamas’s military wing it was delaying the release until Israel “adheres to the terms of the agreement related to the entry of aid trucks into the northern Gaza Strip and due to failure to adhere to the agreed-upon standards for releasing prisoners.”

However, Israel had allowed 200 trucks into the Strip earlier that day, as required by the deal, and Israel’s COGAT military liaison to the Palestinians announced earlier that at least 50 of those trucks reached northern Gaza, a claim confirmed by the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Top Biden aide: There’s ‘reason to believe’ a US citizen will be released from Gaza today

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, December 12, 2022. (Susan Walsh/AP)
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, December 12, 2022. (Susan Walsh/AP)

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says there is “reason to believe” an American citizen will be released from Gaza today.

“We have reason to believe one of those Americans will be released today, but until we see her out safely from Gaza, in the hands of the authorities and ultimately in the hands of her family, then we won’t be certain,” Sullivan tells NBC.

When asked whether he is referring to the potential release of 4-year-old Avigail Idan today, Sullivan talks in more general terms about the timeline.

“We are hopeful that Avigail will be released. We think it’s long past time that this little girl, who just celebrated her fourth birthday, is back home with her family. Of course she tragically lost her parents in this vicious, brutal terrorist attack on October 7,” he says.

“I’m not in a position sitting here at this moment to confirm that,” he says.

As part of a deal including a lull in fighting, the Hamas terror group is releasing some 50 Israeli children and women held hostage in Gaza.

There are three Americans in the eligible category — two women, and Idan.

The deal is also seeing the entry of aid into Gaza, and the release of three Palestinian prisoners for every Israeli set free.

Avigail Idan, 4, was taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from Kibbutz Kfar Aza. Both of Avigail’s parents were murdered in front of her before she was kidnapped.(Courtesy)

At least one dual Russian-Israeli may potentially be released in addition to 13 hostages already expected

Israelis, including the families of Gaza hostages, attend the ‘50 Days of Hell’ rally in support of the hostages held by Hamas, outside the 'Hostages Square' near the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, November 25, 2023, in Tel Aviv. (Gili Yaari/FLASH90)
Israelis, including the families of Gaza hostages, attend the ‘50 Days of Hell’ rally in support of the hostages held by Hamas, outside the 'Hostages Square' near the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, November 25, 2023, in Tel Aviv. (Gili Yaari/FLASH90)

Israel is anticipating the potential release of additional hostages from the Gaza Strip today, on top of the 13 Israelis that have been agreed upon by Hamas.

There are ongoing talks for the release of at least one dual Russian-Israeli citizen, which has been reported as a gesture by Hamas to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Israeli officials have warned that nothing relating to the hostage deal is final until it is carried out. Yesterday, Hamas delayed the release of the hostages for several hours.

Arbel rejects Ben Gvir’s request to revoke citizenship of soccer players who wouldn’t hold hostage signs

Interior and health minister Moshe Arbel arrives for a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on September 10, 2023 (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Interior and health minister Moshe Arbel arrives for a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on September 10, 2023 (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Interior Minister Moshe Arbel rejects a request from National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir to strip citizenship from soccer players who chose not to hold a sign calling to free hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, according to a memo sent from Arbel to Ben Gvir today.

In the letter, Arbel writes, “You don’t strip citizenship from a person because he doesn’t hold a sign, as important as it could be.”

Arbel adds: “I recommend that we deal with the important mission of maintaining Israel’s security and less with populism about the sympathies of a rival soccer team.”

Arbel has promoted a draft bill to revoke the citizenship of Israelis who publicly identify themselves with terror groups, or who identify with a terror group as incitement to a terror act, which he writes “will be advanced in the coming days.”

Crowds line the street to welcome home Danielle Aloni and Emilia, 5, freed from Gaza on Friday

Danielle Alon with daughter Emilia at Schneider Medical Center in Petah Tikva, November 25, 2023 (Courtesy)
Danielle Alon with daughter Emilia at Schneider Medical Center in Petah Tikva, November 25, 2023 (Courtesy)

Crowds come out to welcome Danielle Aloni and her five-year-old daughter Emilia as they come home after they were held hostage in the Gaza Strip for 49 days.

People line the street, waving Israeli flags and cheering, while a sound system blasts out the song “I’m coming home” as the convoy approaches.

The two were released Friday as part of the first group of hostages freed by the Hamas terror group.

They were visiting Danielle’s sister and her family at Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7 when they were kidnapped during the onslaught.

That family, Sharon Aloni Cunio, 33, and her husband David Cunio, 34, and their twin three-year-old daughters, Yuli and Emma, are still held hostage in Gaza.

Iran-backed Iraqi militia says it joins truce with Israel, will reduce attacks on US forces

Supporters of Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades march in military uniforms during a Quds Day march in Baghdad, Iraq, June 23, 2017. (Hadi Mizban/AP)
Supporters of Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades march in military uniforms during a Quds Day march in Baghdad, Iraq, June 23, 2017. (Hadi Mizban/AP)

The Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades – a separate group from the Lebanese Hezbollah – announces it has joined the truce between Hamas and Israel, and that it will halt attacks against Israel until the end of the truce period.

The Hezbollah Brigades, a Shiite paramilitary group directly controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), is one of several Iraqi Shiite groups present in southwestern Syria and southern Lebanon that have reportedly been carrying out attacks against Israel after October 7, alongside Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah. The latter has previously announced that it is going to abide by the truce.

In their statement, the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades further announce a “reduction in the pace of escalation” of attacks against US forces in Iraq and Syria. A string of at least 73 attacks have been carried out by Iran and Iran-backed paramilitary groups on US and coalition bases in Iraq and Syria since October 17, according to CNN.

The Hezbollah Brigades are accused of being behind the kidnapping of Israeli-Russian researcher Elizabeth Tsurkov in March in Baghdad. A video statement by Tsurkov was released on November 13, in which the researcher, seemingly under duress, demanded an end to the Israeli operation in Gaza and increased pressure for her release.

IPS says it received list of Palestinian prisoners to be freed in exchange for 3rd group of hostages

Vehicles with Palestinian terror convicts who will be released as part of a deal between Israel and Hamas arrive at the Ofer prison, November 25, 2023. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)
Vehicles with Palestinian terror convicts who will be released as part of a deal between Israel and Hamas arrive at the Ofer prison, November 25, 2023. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)

The Israel Prison Service says it has received a list of Palestinian terror convicts who will be freed as part of the deal with Hamas that will also see a group of hostages released from Gaza later today.

It does not say how many names are on the list, but three Palestinian prisoners are released for every Israeli hostage.

This is the third day out of four in which such exchanges are expected to be held, with additional days of ceasefire possible if Hamas agrees to release more hostages.

The Prison Service says the prisoners will be moved to Ofer Prison in the West Bank for medical checks by the International Red Cross, ahead of their release to the West Bank or East Jerusalem.

They will go free only after the group of Israeli hostages is released and their identities verified.

IDF releases helicopter footage of 9-year-old Ohad Munder after he was released by Hamas

Ohad Munder after his release from Hamas captivity on November 24, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Ohad Munder after his release from Hamas captivity on November 24, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces releases footage and a radio recording of 9-year-old Ohad Munder during a helicopter flight to a hospital in Israel on Friday night, after being released from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip.

“Where are we flying?” Ohad asks the helicopter’s pilot. “We are flying to Schneider [children’s hospital],” she responds.

Ohad, along with his mother Keren and grandmother Ruti, were reunited with their family on Friday night, 49 days after being taken hostage by Hamas. Roi, who was Ruti’s son and Keren’s brother, had been killed by Hamas terrorists on October 7.

Fatah official: Oct. 7 is part of our ‘defensive war’ against Israel, Hamas is ‘part of our political and social fabric’

Head of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub after his speech at the FIFA congress in Moscow, June 13, 2018. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)
Head of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub after his speech at the FIFA congress in Moscow, June 13, 2018. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

Jibril Rajoub, secretary general of Fatah’s Central Committee, justifies the October 7 massacre by Hamas as an act “in the context of the defensive war our people are waging.”

In a speech he delivers in a meeting with journalists in Kuwait, Rajoub also says that Israel is responsible for causing October 7, due to its “aggression on all the Palestinian lands.”

He also says that the Hamas onslaught “thwarted the goal of the Israeli right to integrate Israel into the region without resolving the Palestinian issue, based on the principle of peace in exchange for peace,” referencing the Abraham Accords that Israel signed in recent years with several Arab nations, and ongoing talks to normalize relations with other Middle East countries, including Saudi Arabia.

Rajoub, who is also head of the Palestinian Football Association, adds in his speech that “Hamas is part of our political and social fabric and of our struggle, and their involvement is important,” but reiterates that the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people is the Palestinian Authority.

PA officials have so far refused to condemn Hamas’s October 7 massacre, in which over 1,200 Israelis were killed and about 240 abducted into Gaza. The PA Foreign Ministry even went as far as to claim on November 19 that Israel fabricated evidence of the October 7 killings by Hamas to justify its attack on Gaza – a statement that was later retracted after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as “preposterous.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly indicated that the PA is willing to take control over the Gaza Strip after Hamas is removed from power there — on condition of the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

US President Joe Biden has also said that a “revitalized” PA should rule the Gaza Strip following the war, something Israel has repeatedly rejected, pointing to its refusal to condemn the October 7 onslaught.

200 trucks of aid enter Gaza, some of it for northern part of Strip

Two hundred trucks carrying humanitarian aid enter the Gaza Strip, with some of the supplies heading for the northern part of the enclave

The trucks were checked by Israeli authorities at the Nitzana crossing with Egypt, before heading to Egypt’s Rafah crossing to enter Gaza. Dozens of the trucks and six ambulances are heading for the northern Gaza Strip, including to areas that have not been evacuated, with the approval of Israel, says the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

Ahead of launching its ground operation, the Israel Defense Forces told Palestinian civilians to use humanitarian corridors to evacuate southwards to designated safe areas in the enclave.

The aid — including food, water, and medical supplies — is entering the Strip as part of the temporary truce between Israel and the Hamas terror group, mediated by Egypt and Qatar. As part of the agreement, some 50 children and women held hostage in Gaza are being released, along with three Palestinian prisoners for every Israeli set free.

Relatives of released Gaza hostages say they ate mainly rice and pita, slept on plastic chairs

Ohad Munder is reunited with his father and brother after his release from Gaza, November 25, 2023. (Schneider Children's Hospital)
Ohad Munder is reunited with his father and brother after his release from Gaza, November 25, 2023. (Schneider Children's Hospital)

Family members of former hostages 85-year-old Yaffa Adar, and Ruthie Munder, Keren Munder and Ohad Munder Zichri — grandmother, mother and grandson —  speak about their release and recovery process.

Merav Raviv says her aunt, Ruthie Munder, cousin Keren Munder and Keren’s son Ohad were abducted from her Aunt Ruthie and Uncle Avraham Munder’s home in Kibbutz Nir Oz without Avraham, something the extended family only found out once Ruthie, Keren and Ohad were returned to Israel Friday night.

Avraham Munder is not in good health, walks with a cane and has bad eyesight and was left behind by the terrorists in the house as his wife, daughter and grandson were abducted. His family thought he would be killed but he was later abducted separately.

“Until yesterday, they thought he was murdered,” says Raviv. “We had to tell them that Keren’s brother, Roi, was murdered and that Uncle Avraham is in Gaza as a hostage.”

Yaffa Adar “is an amazing and tough woman,” says her granddaughter, Adva Adar. She knows what happened to her home, that it was destroyed,” says Adar.

“She’s in her 80s and needs to start over,” says Adar.

Yaffa Adar reunites with a family member after she was released from Gaza, November 24, 2023. (Facebook, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

“Usually when you’re in your 80s you have your house, your memories, your photo albums, and she has nothing. In her old age, she needs to start over and that’s tough.”

The family members speak about some of the conditions in Gaza. Keren Munder told her cousin, Merav Raviv, that they mostly ate rice and pita, and slept on rows of molded plastic seats, the kind used in waiting rooms.

“When they needed to use the bathroom, they would knock on the door, and sometimes they had to wait an hour and a half until they could go,” says Raviv.

The family members also speak about the great joy they all experienced at the return of their loved ones.

“I’m so proud to be her granddaughter,” says Adar. “I’m looking at her and the way she survived this and the strength she’s showing and the way she was able to still hold hope to be returned.”

Ohad Munder was reunited with a bunch of his friends on Saturday, says Merav Raviv.

Foreign minister summons Irish envoy for reprimand over Varadkar’s comments

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar talks to the press as he arrives for the second and last day of a European Union summit, at the EU headquarters in Brussels, on October 27, 2023. ( Ludovic MARIN / AFP)
Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar talks to the press as he arrives for the second and last day of a European Union summit, at the EU headquarters in Brussels, on October 27, 2023. ( Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen says he has ordered his staff to call in Ireland’s ambassador for a reprimand, in light of the Irish prime minister’s remarks that a Hamas-held child hostage was “lost” before being “found,” upon her Saturday release after 50 days in captivity.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar welcomed the release Saturday of 9-year-old Emily Hand, saying “an innocent child who was lost has now been found.”

IDF says 4 dogs from Oketz canine unit killed in Gaza battles with Hamas

Troops and dogs of the Oketz canine unit are seen in the Gaza Strip, in a handout image published November 26, 2023 (Israel Defense Forces)
Troops and dogs of the Oketz canine unit are seen in the Gaza Strip, in a handout image published November 26, 2023 (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces releases footage of the Oketz canine unit’s operations in the Gaza Strip during the fighting in recent weeks.

It says the unit’s dogs had been involved with helping locate Hamas operatives, explosives and weapons, as well as the hostages and bodies.

The military says four Oketz dogs were killed during the battles with Hamas: Mido, Taiga, Jack, and Ghandi.

Gantz slams Irish PM for comments on Gaza hostage Emily Hand, 9, being ‘lost’ and ‘found’

Emily Hand was abducted from a friend's home in Kibbutz Be'eri on October 7, 2023. She was initially thought to have been killed. (Courtesy)
Emily Hand was abducted from a friend's home in Kibbutz Be'eri on October 7, 2023. She was initially thought to have been killed. (Courtesy)

War cabinet minister Benny Gantz pans remarks by the Irish prime minister that a 9 year old former hostage was “lost” and then “found,” upon her Saturday release from 50 days in Palestinian terrorist captivity.

“Emily was never ‘Lost’ – she was brutally kidnapped and held hostage by terrorist Hamas,” Gantz writes on X, in response to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s statement upon the release of Israeli-Irish citizen Emily Hand.

Hand was kidnapped from Kibbutz Be’eri while at a sleepover, and was presumed dead before later being confirmed as one of the 240 hostages taken into the Gaza Strip on October 7.

“After 50 days held hostage in Gaza and while celebrating her 9th birthday surrounded by Hamas terrorists armed with Kalashnikovs and knives, after her father mourned her loss in front of the whole world, her father will now need to tell Emily that her stepmother was murdered by those same Hamas terrorists only 6 years after losing her biological mother to cancer,” Gantz continues.

Gantz’s remarks join condemnations by other Israeli officials.

Hamas confirms senior commanders killed in earlier Gaza fighting

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Nov. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Nov. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

The Hamas terror group confirms the deaths of several senior commanders who were targeted by Israel during the fighting in the Gaza Strip.

It says Ahmed Ghandour, the commander of its northern Gaza brigade; Ayman Siam, the head of Hamas’s rocket firing array; and Wael Rajab and Raafat Salman were killed.

The IDF had previously said it had targeted Ghandour and Siam, but did not confirm they had been killed.

Defense Ministry announces it seized NIS 5 million in cash in Gaza

The Defense Ministry announces that during operations in the Gaza Strip, forces seized some NIS 5 million in cash (approximately $1.3 million), along with Iraqi dinars, Jordanian dinars, and US dollars.

The cash was seized from Hamas strongholds and homes of terror operatives.

The money will be “forfeited for the state,” the ministry adds.

IDF chief: Military will resume fighting ‘with determination’ at end of current lull

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi (center) is seen at Southern Command in Beersheba, November 18, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi (center) is seen at Southern Command in Beersheba, November 18, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

In a missive to troops, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi says the military will return to fighting Hamas “with determination” once the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip ends.

“The IDF and its soldiers fight fiercely to protect the lives of our people while upholding the values of the IDF. We created conditions for the framework of the release of the first group of hostage children and mothers [that is taking place] during this pause” in the fighting, writes Halevi.

“When the framework is completed, we will return to our operations with determination, for the continued release of the hostages and the complete dismantlement of Hamas,” he continues.

“I met many of you at the end of long hours of fighting both above and underground, facing complex challenges. In every encounter, I saw reflected in your eyes the magnitude of the moment, the fighting spirit and determination to achieve all the objectives of the war,” Halevi says. “I heard you tell me: ‘We want to fight until we return the hostages.’ And so we are doing just that!”

FM Cohen slams Irish PM for saying released Gaza hostage was ‘found’ after she was ‘lost’

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar talks to the press as he arrives for the second and last day of a European Union summit, at the EU headquarters in Brussels, on October 27, 2023. ( Ludovic MARIN / AFP)
Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar talks to the press as he arrives for the second and last day of a European Union summit, at the EU headquarters in Brussels, on October 27, 2023. ( Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen chides Ireland’s prime minister for saying that an Israeli-Irish child hostage was “found” after she was “lost,” after she was released yesterday by Hamas, 50 days into her captivity.

In a post on X directed at Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Cohen writes: “It seems you have lost your moral compass and need a reality check!”

Emily Hand, 9, was originally presumed dead after Hamas attacked Kibbutz Be’eri as part of its October 7 rampage against Israel’s southern communities and a large outdoor music festival, killing some 1,200 people, the majority civilians.

Hand was later confirmed to be among the 240 hostages taken that day to the Gaza Strip.

“Emily Hand was not ‘lost,’ she was kidnapped by a terror organization worse than ISIS that murdered her stepmother,” Cohen continues.

“Emily and more than 30 other Israeli children were taken hostage by Hamas, and you are trying to legitimize and normalize terror. Shame on you!” he adds.

Reports: Qatar says 13 Israeli women and children to be released by Hamas this evening, along with 7 foreign nationals

Israelis, including the families of Gaza hostages, attend the ‘50 Days of Hell’ rally in support of the hostages held by Hamas, outside the 'Hostages Square' near the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, November 25, 2023, in Tel Aviv. (Gili Yaari/FLASH90)
Israelis, including the families of Gaza hostages, attend the ‘50 Days of Hell’ rally in support of the hostages held by Hamas, outside the 'Hostages Square' near the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, November 25, 2023, in Tel Aviv. (Gili Yaari/FLASH90)

Qatar reportedly says another 13 children and women will be freed by the Hamas terror group later today, after 51 days held hostage in the Gaza Strip.

As part of a separate agreement, seven foreign nationals will also be set free, Doha says, according to Hebrew-language reports.

Israel will free 39 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

There is no official Israeli announcement on the matter, but the Ynet news site and Army Radio say that Israeli officials confirmed they are expecting 13 Israelis to be released.

Twenty-six people have been released so far as part of the agreement, which has also seen a pause in fighting, humanitarian aid entering the Strip, and three Palestinian prisoners released for every hostage set free.

Emily Hand’s dad vows to throw her the ‘biggest birthday ever’ after she turned 9 while hostage in Gaza

Tom Hand embraces his daughter Emily Hand as they reunite, in the early hours of November 26, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Tom Hand embraces his daughter Emily Hand as they reunite, in the early hours of November 26, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The father of Emily Hand, who turned nine while held hostage in the Gaza Strip, vows to throw her the “biggest birthday party ever” after she was released yesterday.

Events were held by supporters around the world to mark her birthday.

Thomas Hand also tells the Daily Mail that he was scared to hug his daughter too tightly when he saw her for the first time.

Emily was at a sleepover at a friend’s house at the time of the Hamas assault on October 7. She was initially reported killed, but it was later announced that she was among those held hostage in Gaza.

Emily’s mother died of cancer several years ago.

Released hostage Maya Regev in moderate condition, will undergo a series of surgeries

Maya Regev, who was abducted by Hamas on October 7, 2023 and released on November 25, 2023. (Courtesy)
Maya Regev, who was abducted by Hamas on October 7, 2023 and released on November 25, 2023. (Courtesy)

Soroka Medical Center director Dr. Shlomi Kodesh says that a hostage who was released by the Hamas terror group last night, remains in moderate condition.

Maya Regev, 21, was taken straight to the hospital after she arrived back in Israel — all the other hostages were taken to other medical centers.

Regev will undergo a series of surgeries and is expected to recover fully.

She was kidnapped by Hamas from the Supernova music festival near Re’im during the October 7 onslaught.

Regev was there with her brother Itay, 18, who was also taken hostage but was not released with her.

This undated family photo provided on Oct. 16, 2023, shows Maya Regev, 21, and Itay Regev, 18. (Regev Family via AP)

Kibbutz Be’eri: Hamas ‘grossly violated’ hostage deal by releasing child without her mother

Mother and daughter Raya and Hila Rotem, taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from their home in Kibbutz Be'eri. Hila was released on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)
Mother and daughter Raya and Hila Rotem, taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from their home in Kibbutz Be'eri. Hila was released on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)

Kibbutz Be’eri, where 12 of the 13 hostages released last night were kidnapped from on October 7, says that while the community was “happy and excited” about the return of the hostages, Hamas violated the terms of the deal when it released 13-year-old Hila Rotem without her mother, Raya.

“Hila is returning home without her mother Raya, who remains in captivity. Hamas grossly violated the agreement, and separated mother and daughter,” the statement says, according to the Walla news site.

“Three children from two families from the kibbutz were torn from their only remaining parent,” the statement says.

Also released last night were 17-year-old Noam Or and his 13-year-old sister, Alma.

Their mother Yonat was murdered by terrorists on October 7, and their father Dror remains hostage in Gaza, along with his 18-year-old nephew Liam.

One of the terms of the agreement with the terror group, brokered by Qatar and Egypt, was that no child should be separated from their mother when released. Despite that, Hamas delayed the release of the hostages last night, claiming that in fact it was Israel that was violating the agreement.

Hospital says 12 of 13 hostages released yesterday don’t need urgent medical attention

The Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan says that 12 of the 13 hostages released from the Gaza Strip yesterday spent the night at the medical center, and that none of them required urgent medical attention.

“After a very long night of anticipation, at around 3:30 a.m., 12 hostages were transferred here, and I am happy to inform you that, although the days of captivity are evident on them, none of them need urgent and immediate intervention,” says children’s hospital chief Prof. Itai Pessach. “We will continue to support them physically and mentally.”

The 13th hostage released by Hamas terrorists on Saturday evening, Maya Regev, is hospitalized at Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Center.

Regev was the only freed hostage brought to the closer Soroka to undergo immediate medical treatment. Last night, the hospital described her condition as moderate, and said her life isn’t in danger.

Israeli troops arrest Palestinian on suspicion of killing man, son in Huwara August terror attack

An undated photo shows Shay Silas Nigreker, 60 (right) and his 28-year-old son Aviad Nir, who were killed in a terror attack in the West Bank town of Huwara, August 19, 2023. (Courtesy)
An undated photo shows Shay Silas Nigreker, 60 (right) and his 28-year-old son Aviad Nir, who were killed in a terror attack in the West Bank town of Huwara, August 19, 2023. (Courtesy)

Israeli troops arrest Osama Bani Fadl, a wanted Palestinian, on suspicion of killing two men in an August terror attack in the West Bank town of Huwara, the IDF and Shin Bet say in a joint statement

Shay Silas Nigreker, 60, and his 28-year-old son Aviad Nir, residents of Ashdod, were gunned down at a carwash in the town, south of Nablus.

Bani Fadl was arrested in the Jenin refugee camp. The IDF and Shin Bet say he was armed and lying low in a hideout apartment used by local terror operatives.

The suspected terrorist’s home was mapped out for demolition days after the shooting attack.

The IDF adds that other operations are still ongoing in Jenin. Clashes have broken out between Israeli troops and rioters, who threw explosive devices.

WATCH: Emotional scenes as girls Emily Hand, Hila Rotem reunite with families after 50 days

Emily Hand (right) reunites with her father, Tom Hand, in the early hours of November 26, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Emily Hand (right) reunites with her father, Tom Hand, in the early hours of November 26, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces publishes photos and videos from today’s release of 13 Israeli hostages from Gaza, including a clip showing girl Emily Hand, 9, meeting her father Tom for the first time in 50 days and Hila Rotem, 13, being welcomed and embraced by her uncle.

In a breach of the agreement, the Hamas terror group released Rotem without her mother.

Tom Hand embraces his daughter Emily Hand as they reunite, in the early hours of November 26, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Hila Rotem, 13, is embraced by her uncle as they reunite, in the early hours of November 26, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Hila Rotem, 13, is embraced by her uncle as they reunite, in the early hours of November 26, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The released footage also shows Adi Shoham and her three-year-old daughter Yahel, as well as Shiri Weiss and her 18-year-old daughter Noga Weiss, being received by IDF soldiers after their release from captivity.

Adi Shoham and her three-year-old daughter Yahel are received by IDF soldiers after being freed from captivity in Gaza, November 25, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Noga Weiss, 18, right, and her mother Shiri Weiss, 53, second from right, are received by IDF soldiers after being freed from captivity in Gaza, November 25, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The 4 Thai nationals released tonight from Gaza are named, their families notified

The four Thai hostages released on Saturday from captivity in Gaza alongside 13 Israelis are named by media as Natthaphon Onkaew, Khomkrit Chombua, Anucha Angkaew and Manee Jirachat.

The Health Ministry says they have been taken to Shamir Medical Center to receive medical and psychological care as needed.

The Foreign Ministry says it is in continued contact with the Thai and Philippines embassies regarding their citizens’ release, and that the families of those released have been notified.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin says the four are in good health.

Palestinian crowds cheer release of security prisoners in West Bank, East Jerusalem

Videos from the West Bank and East Jerusalem show crowds welcoming and cheering the arrival of 39 Palestinian security prisoners freed by Israel as part of the truce deal with the Hamas terror group in exchange for the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

The released female and underage inmates, all convicted or indicted for terror-related offenses, include Israa Jaabis, 38, who was convicted of detonating a gas cylinder in her car at a West Bank checkpoint in 2015, wounding a police officer, and sentenced to 11 years in prison.

In East Jerusalem, the images come despite National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir instructing police to prevent celebrations of the releases. Some images show mounted police officers trying to disperse the crowd.

 

Israel gets list of third group of hostages to be released Sunday, notifies families

Israel has received the list of hostages who are slated to be released Sunday, an official familiar with the matter tells The Times of Israel.

The Prime Minister’s Office says Israel has notified the families whose loved ones are on the list handed over by Qatar, which has been mediating between Israel and Hamas.

It will be the third day of a four-day truce, which Qatar said earlier today it hopes will be extended further with the release of more abductees.

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