ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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Nov. 28: Back in Israel, freed hostages make way to hospitals for emotional reunions

10 women, many of them elderly, released by Gazan terror groups * Mossad chief in Qatar for talks on expanding deal * Gallant says troops will remain in Gaza until region secured

  • Mia and Gabriela Leimberg call family members from an Israeli army facility after being freed from Hamas captivity on November 28, 2023. (GPO)
    Mia and Gabriela Leimberg call family members from an Israeli army facility after being freed from Hamas captivity on November 28, 2023. (GPO)
  • A Red Cross vehicle carrying newly released hostages drives towards the Rafah border point with Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 28, 2023. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)
    A Red Cross vehicle carrying newly released hostages drives towards the Rafah border point with Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 28, 2023. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)
  • Ditza Heiman, 84, held hostage since October 7, is transferred by Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists to the Red Cross in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 28, 2023. (Photo by AFP)
    Ditza Heiman, 84, held hostage since October 7, is transferred by Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists to the Red Cross in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 28, 2023. (Photo by AFP)
  • Israeli hostages released on November 28, 2023: Top L-R: Ditza Heiman, Tamar Metzger, Noralin Babadila Agojo, Ada Sagi, Meirav Tal; bottom: Rimon Kirsht, Ofelia Roitman, Gabriela Leimberg and her daughter Mia, Clara Marman. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)
    Israeli hostages released on November 28, 2023: Top L-R: Ditza Heiman, Tamar Metzger, Noralin Babadila Agojo, Ada Sagi, Meirav Tal; bottom: Rimon Kirsht, Ofelia Roitman, Gabriela Leimberg and her daughter Mia, Clara Marman. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)
  • Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists shake hands after handing over hostages to the Red Cross in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 28, 2023. (AFP)
    Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists shake hands after handing over hostages to the Red Cross in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 28, 2023. (AFP)
  • Mia Leimberg, 17, seen in footage from inside the Gaza Strip with her dog, as she is transferred to the Red Cross as part of a hostage deal between Israel and Hamas, November 28, 2023. (Screenshot)
    Mia Leimberg, 17, seen in footage from inside the Gaza Strip with her dog, as she is transferred to the Red Cross as part of a hostage deal between Israel and Hamas, November 28, 2023. (Screenshot)
  • Hamas terrorists accompany newly released Israeli hostages before handing them over to the Red Cross in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 28, 2023. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)
    Hamas terrorists accompany newly released Israeli hostages before handing them over to the Red Cross in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 28, 2023. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)
  • Mia Leimberg, 17, center, with her mom, Gabriela Leimberg, right, and her aunt Clara Marman, left, are seen after being released as hostages by Hamas on November 28, 2023. (Screenshot/Courtesy)
    Mia Leimberg, 17, center, with her mom, Gabriela Leimberg, right, and her aunt Clara Marman, left, are seen after being released as hostages by Hamas on November 28, 2023. (Screenshot/Courtesy)
  • A Hamas terrorist stands guard as a Red Cross vehicle transports newly released hostages in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 28, 2023. (AFP)
    A Hamas terrorist stands guard as a Red Cross vehicle transports newly released hostages in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 28, 2023. (AFP)
  • Israeli hostages released from Hamas captivity are seen inside a Red Cross vehicle ahead of their return to Israel, November 28, 2023. (Screenshot)
    Israeli hostages released from Hamas captivity are seen inside a Red Cross vehicle ahead of their return to Israel, November 28, 2023. (Screenshot)

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

White House: ‘Added burden’ on Israel to account for non-combatants in southern Gaza

John Kirby, the US National Security Council spokesman speaks during the daily briefing at he White House in Washington, on November 27, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP)
John Kirby, the US National Security Council spokesman speaks during the daily briefing at he White House in Washington, on November 27, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP)

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration has told Israel that it must work to avoid “significant further displacement” of Palestinian civilians in southern Gaza if it renews its ground campaign aimed at eradicating the Hamas terror group, senior US officials say.

Separately, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby says the Israelis have been receptive when US officials have raised the issue.

The Democratic administration, seeking to avoid more large-scale civilian casualties or mass displacement like that seen before the current temporary pause in the fighting, underscored to the Israelis that they must operate with far greater precision in southern Gaza than they did in the north, say officials who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the White House.

Amid mounting international and domestic pressure about the rising Palestinian death toll, the White House has begun to put greater pressure on Israel that the manner of the coming campaign must be “carefully thought through,” according to one of the officials.

Kirby, tells reporters separately, “Now you have an added population of hundreds of thousands more in the south that you didn’t have before (the Israelis) moved into Gaza City.”

“And so it’s even all that more of an added burden on Israel to make sure that as they start to plan for operations in the south, whatever that looks like, that they have properly accounted for…the extra innocent life that is now in south Gaza.”

Freed hostages arrive at hospitals for treatment, reunion with families

An Israeli helicopter transporting newly released hostages, held since Hamas' October 7 attacks, lands outside Ramat Gan's Sheba medical centre in the Tel Aviv district on November 28, 2023. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)
An Israeli helicopter transporting newly released hostages, held since Hamas' October 7 attacks, lands outside Ramat Gan's Sheba medical centre in the Tel Aviv district on November 28, 2023. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

The 10 Israeli hostages freed from Gaza after 53 days in captivity arrive at Sheba Medical Center and Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital for treatment.

Eight Israeli women, six of them elderly, and one mother and her 17-year-old daughter were freed this evening, as well as two Thai nationals as part of a separate agreement.

Seven of the women and the teen are now at Sheba Medical Center and two other women are cared for at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, where they are all reuniting with their families and loved ones.

The two Thai nationals are under the care of Assaf Harofeh Hospital (also the Shamir Medical Center).

Story on Argentina president-elect converting to Judaism walked back

Presidential candidate of the Liberty Advances coalition Javier Milei votes during the presidential runoff election in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Presidential candidate of the Liberty Advances coalition Javier Milei votes during the presidential runoff election in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

The Bloomberg news agency is correcting an article that suggested that Argentina’s president-elect Javier Milei is converting to Judaism, quoting an aide as saying merely that Milei intends to do this.

Milei, a right-leaning libertarian firebrand who won the November 19 election by a landslide, seeks to become Jewish, according to the corrected language of the article published Tuesday.

The article quotes indirectly an unnamed spokesperson of Milei as saying this.

Milei is an economist who became a television pundit for his penchant for shocking statements and animated rhetoric. He is making no secret of his affection for Israel and Judaism, including in a speech from 2021 in which he told reporters: “I am thinking about converting to Judaism and I aspire to become the first Jewish president in Argentine history.”

Milei, who has multiple Jewish advisors, contacts friends and mentors, is not currently known to be in a formal conversion process. However, his first stop upon arriving in New York this week was the gravesite of late Chabad Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

Close-knit Argentine-Israeli community ‘relieved’ as hostages come home

Tuesday’s release of 10 Israeli hostages from Gaza comes as a relief specifically to the tight-knit community of Argentinian Jews in Israel, their representative says, noting that four of the newly released hail from the Latin American country.

“Like all of Israel, we are breathing a small sigh of relief over the release but we worry about the remaining hostages and the prospect of a return to terrorism by the 30 prisoners that Israel released in return for the freedom,” says Mario Lev, the president of the OLEI association of Spanish-speaking immigrants to Israel.

The four Argentinians released Tuesday, all of whom were abducted by Hamas terrorists from Nir Oz on October 7, are Ofelia Roitman, Clara Marman, Gabriela Leimberg and her daughter Mia, who is 17. On Monday, at least five Argentinian citizens were among 11 Israelis freed.

Of the hostages still in Gaza, about 30 are from Latin America, Mario Lev tells The Times of Israel.

“This is no coincidence: Many of the kibbutzim in the northern Negev were either established by immigrants from Argentina and Latin America or have a sizable representation of our community,” Lev says.

Especially among the Boomer-aged Argentinians, “the community is incredibly tight-knit because we all went to Zionist youth movements together,” says Lev, 77. “We all know each other quite well. It’s why the hostage issue hurt our community especially, and why this is such a relief now.”

Freed hostages on way to hospitals to be united with families

The military says in a statement that the 12 freed hostages have undergone initial medical checks at a meeting point in southern Israel and are now making their way by helicopter to hospitals where they will be reunited with family.

The Health and Foreign ministries say in separate statements that two freed Thai nationals are being treated at Shamir-Assaf Harofeh Hospital in central Israel.

The Health Ministry says Ichilov and Sheba medical centers are also taking in freed hostages Tuesday.

A picture published by the government shows freed hostages Mia and Gabriela Lemberg, and their dog Buffy, making a call to family from the army meeting point where the former hostages were checked out.

No attacks on US troops in Iraq, Syria since truce, Pentagon says

Near-daily attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria have stopped since a truce between Israel and Hamas went into effect last week, the Pentagon says.

American forces in the two countries have been targeted with rockets and drones more than 70 times since mid-October — a surge in violence the United States has blamed on Iran-backed forces.

“There have been no attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria since November 23, since the operational pause began,” Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder tells journalists.

The attacks have caused injuries to dozens of American personnel — who are in Iraq and Syria as part of efforts to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State jihadist group — but all have since returned to duty.

Netanyahu huddles with security cabinet, Gallant looks to rebuilding south

With his spy chief in Qatar holding high-level meetings aimed at extending a truce with the Hamas terror group beyond its Thursday morning deadline, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is huddling with his security cabinet in Tel Aviv ostensibly to discuss diplomatic efforts or a return to fighting.

The Prime Minister’s Office confirms the meeting in a terse statement.

The meeting comes shortly after Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told military brass that troops will remain in Gaza as long as needed to return security to Israeli residents of southern Israel, rolling out plans for an eventual return of communities near the Gaza border.

Gallant said at the meeting that the first communities to be rehabilitated would be those outside the northern Gaza Strip and at least 4 kilometers away.

“Once the IDF is operating in northern Gaza, it changes everything and allows this to take place,” he says, according to a readout from his office. “Soon we’ll work on other places too, change them in kind, return people to other places. All this under the total protection of the IDF and the Israeli government.”

“We are committed to staying in Gaza and carrying out all of our missions to bring these communities back; the mission is not complete until we finish off this problem called Hamas.”

Two Palestinians killed in West Bank clashes — PA

Two Palestinian teenagers were killed Tuesday during clashes with IDF troops carrying out raids in the West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said.

According to the ministry, Amir Wahdan, 14, was killed in Tubas in the northern West Bank, where the army said troops had gone in to arrest “two wanted suspects.”

Witnesses tell AFP that clashes broke out with young people throwing stones at Israeli army vehicles and soldiers responding with fire.

According to the army, “several gunmen opened fire at the security forces, who responded with live fire.”

Near Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, 17-year-old Malik Deghreh was killed by Israeli fire, the Palestinian ministry says.

Clashes erupted after the Israeli army entered a village to carry out searches, witnesses say.

A young Palestinian was also killed overnight Monday in Beitunia, a village between the Israeli Ofer prison and Ramallah, the ministry says.

The Israeli army said it went into Beitunia overnight “to prevent any riots” but that as soldiers approached, “assailants hurled explosive devices and Molotov cocktails at the forces and lit up trash on the main road.”

Ben Gvir threatens to tear down government if war not resumed

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir threatens to break apart the government if Israel does not restart its war with Hamas, currently on a negotiated pause.

“Stopping the war = breaking apart the government,” he threatens in a statement.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir seen during a meeting with police officers from the Yasam riot control unit, in Tel Aviv on August 2, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Ben Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit holds six seats in the coalition, and sports three ministers in the cabinet.

Assuming the continued support of Benny Gantz’s National Unity party, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government would survive a Ben Gvir defection.

Prison service says 30 Palestinian inmates freed

The Israel Prisons Service confirms that it facilitated the release of 30 Palestinian inmates, as part of the deal to free Israelis held hostage in Gaza.

According to Qatar, the list includes 15 women and 15 minors.

Islamic Jihad seen playing Hamas wingman at hostage handoff

Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists share an embrace after handing over hostages to the Red Cross in Rafiah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 28, 2023. (AFP)
Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists share an embrace after handing over hostages to the Red Cross in Rafiah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 28, 2023. (AFP)

Alongside Hamas gunmen accompanying hostages to a Red Cross meeting point were armed members of the Islamic Jihad terror group.

Members of Islamic Jihad, which is smaller than Hamas but still yields considerable muscle in Gaza, are thought to have held a number of Israelis abducted on October 7 hostage.

However, they have not been a visible presence on previous nights when hostages are handed over to the ICRC to be transferred to Israel.

Freed hostages being assessed in Israel, set to be reunited with families — IDF

Ditza Heiman, 84, held hostage since October 7, is transferred by Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists to the Red Cross in Rafiah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 28, 2023. (Photo by AFP)
Ditza Heiman, 84, held hostage since October 7, is transferred by Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists to the Red Cross in Rafiah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 28, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces says the 12 hostages — 10 Israelis and two Thai nationals — released from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip are now in Israeli territory, and are being escorted by special forces and members of the Shin Bet security agency.

“After they undergo an initial medical assessment of their health, our forces will accompany them until they are reunited with their families,” the IDF says.

The IDF asks the public to “demonstrate patience and sensitivity during this time out of respect for the released hostages and their families.”

Red Cross says hostages successfully transferred

Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists accompany an Israeli hostage, Ditza Heiman, before handing her over to the Red Cross in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 28, 2023. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)
Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists accompany an Israeli hostage, Ditza Heiman, before handing her over to the Red Cross in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 28, 2023. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

The Red Cross announces that its staff has successfully transferred 12 free hostages from Hamas in Gaza.

“We have been able to carry out this operation thanks to our neutral intermediary role,” the Red Cross tweets.

Footage shows some of the hostages being transferred to the Red Cross as crowds jeer and whistle.

PMO: Two Thais released alongside 10 Israeli women

A statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says the two non-Israelis being freed by Hamas in Gaza are Thai nationals.

The pair are not named. Thailand’s prime minister said earlier this week that he believed 15 Thai citizens remained hostage in Gaza.

Netanyahu’s office also confirms the list of freed Israeli captives, nine elderly women and one teen girl, and reiterated his vow for all hostages to be freed.

Freed hostages making way to Israel via Egypt

Israelis held hostage since October 7 are transferred by Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists to the Red Cross in Rafiah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 28, 2023. (Photo by AFP)
Israelis held hostage since October 7 are transferred by Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists to the Red Cross in Rafiah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 28, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces says the 12 hostages — 10 Israelis and two foreigners — have been transferred by the Red Cross to Egypt via the Rafah crossing.

They will be brought to a meeting point where Israeli forces will verify their identities, before bringing them into Israel via a side gate at the Kerem Shalom crossing, the IDF says.

“The families of the hostages are being updated by IDF representatives with the latest available information,” the IDF says.

10 Israeli hostages being released named: 9 women, many of them elderly, and a teen

Israeli hostages released on November 28, 2023: Top L-R: Ditza Heiman, Tamar Metzger, Noralin Babadila Agojo, Ada Sagi, Meirav Tal; bottom: Rimon Kirsht, Ofelia Roitman, Gabriela Leimberg and her daughter Mia, Clara Marman. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)
Israeli hostages released on November 28, 2023: Top L-R: Ditza Heiman, Tamar Metzger, Noralin Babadila Agojo, Ada Sagi, Meirav Tal; bottom: Rimon Kirsht, Ofelia Roitman, Gabriela Leimberg and her daughter Mia, Clara Marman. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)

The list of the 10 Israelis freed from Hamas captivity:

Ditza Heiman, 84, from Kibbutz Nir Oz, a mother of four, stepmother of three, grandmother to 20 and great-grandmother of five.

Tamar (Tami) Metzger, 78, from Kibbutz Nir Oz. Her husband, Yoram Metzger, 80, remains a hostage in Gaza.

Ada Sagi, 75, from Kibbutz Nir Oz. A mother of three, she learned Arabic to make friends with her neighbors and later taught the language to others as a way to improve communication with the Palestinians who live on the southeastern border of the Gaza Strip.

Philippines-born Noralin Babadila Agojo, also known as Nora or Natalie, 60. She was taken from Kibbutz Nirim on October 7 and her Israeli-born husband Gideon Babani was killed. The couple lived in the central town of Yehud and were visiting friends on the kibbutz.

Rimon Kirsht Buchshtav, 36, also from Kibbutz Nirim. Her husband, Yagev Buchshtav, 34, remains a hostage in Gaza.

Mia Leimberg, 17, her mother, Gabriela Leimberg, 59, and family member Clara Marman, 62. The Jerusalemites were taken from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak on October 7.

Argentina-born Ofelia Roitman, 77, from Kibbutz Nir Oz.

Meirav Tal, 54, from Kibbutz Nir Oz. She was taken hostage with partner Yair Yaakov, 59, the father of brothers Or Yaakov, 16, and Yagil Yaakov, 13, who were released on Monday.

Qatar confirms 10 Israelis freed in hostage deal

Ten Israeli hostages have been transferred from Hamas to the Red Cross, Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson says, adding that a Filipino national has also been released.

The freed Israeli hostages include nine women and one child.

One of the Israelis is a dual Austrian national and another two are dual Argentinian nationals.

In exchange for the hostages, 30 Palestinian prisoners will be released by Israel later today, the spokesperson says.

IDF confirms 10 Israelis, two foreign nationals, freed by Hamas, on way back to Israel

The Israel Defense Forces confirms that Hamas has handed over 12 hostages to the Red Cross to be transferred to Israel.

“Based on information that was received from the Red Cross, 12 hostages — including ten Israelis and two foreign nationals — are on their way toward Israeli territory,” the IDF says in a short statement.

Amid talks in Qatar reportedly to widen hostage deals, PM, Gantz issue statements

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a press conference at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, November 22, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/ Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a press conference at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, November 22, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/ Flash90)

Amid reports from Qatar of talks on a further widening of hostage release deals, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and war cabinet minister Benny Gantz have issued somewhat ambivalent statements — insisting that all the hostages must and will be returned, without going into specifics.

“So far we’ve released 74 hostages — of whom 50 children and women were in the original framework,” says Netanyahu in a video clip filmed earlier today. “We are committed to completing this framework — to release all of our hostages, women and children. And after that, all of them, without exception.”

War cabinet minister Benny Gantz says, also in a video statement, “We are in the midst of days during which we are acting to return all of the female and male hostages that it is possible to release from captivity. And we will continue to use all means possible so that all of them are returned to their homes. After the ceasefire, the fire will resume. The entire war cabinet is unified on this position. There is no other option.”

Photo shows Jerusalem teen Leimberg being freed from Hamas

A photo shows Mia Leimberg, a 17-year-old from Jerusalem, being released from Hamas captivity.

Leimberg can be seen in the photo holding a dog, flanked by masked gunmen and surrounded by a large crowd of onlookers.

First plane of US aid for Gaza arrives in Egypt

A US military plane containing aid for Gaza arrives in Egypt on November 28, 2023. (CENTCOM)
A US military plane containing aid for Gaza arrives in Egypt on November 28, 2023. (CENTCOM)

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announces that it delivered 54,000 pounds of medical items, food aid and winter gear for civilians in Gaza.

An Air Force C-17 landed in Egypt earlier today and is the first of three shipments being made this week, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says in a statement.

“With 1.7 million people internally displaced and 2.2 million in need of humanitarian assistance, increased humanitarian supplies are essential to saving lives and alleviating suffering for the most vulnerable,” USAID says in a statement.

The United Nations will take the aid from Egypt’s North Sinai region, which borders the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, into the stricken Palestinian territory itself, US officials say.

“The movement over the last four or five days of assistance has been so significant in volume that a backfill… is now needed and these planes are part of that backfill,” a senior US official told reporters on an embargoed call Monday.

The US shipment follow 2,000 trucks of aid that have entered Gaza since Egypt’s Rafah crossing was first opened on October 21, two weeks into the war.

Roughly 200 trucks of aid have entered Gaza each day of the ongoing truce after an average of just 45 trucks per day were entering Gaza in the month prior.

The Biden administration is aiming to double the daily amount of trucks after the truce concludes, with senior administration officials saying yesterday that they want commercial goods to begin entering Gaza again.

“In the coming days and weeks, US President Joe Biden and other senior members of the administration will continue to work to sustain and expand the international humanitarian response and rally the international community to urgently increase support to the UN Flash Appeal for Gaza,” Sullivan says.

Swirl of rumors surround efforts to extend truce

A senior diplomatic source tells the Ynet news site that negotiations on extending the temporary truce in Gaza have not included consideration of proposals for extending the pause beyond 10 days, but indicates Israel could be open to the idea.

“If there is a concrete proposal, the cabinet will consider it, but there hasn’t been anything like that. If we see it’s a serious proposal, we’ll look into it,” they say.

The truce is currently in its fifth day and slated to extend for a sixth.

They also indicate that Israel’s main goal, toppling Hamas rule, has not changed.

“If we can get as many hostages out as possible in 10 days, that’s great,” they say. “Nobody is forgetting the war’s goal and nobody will agree to something ridiculous like disarmament.”

“We already know how much international forces can be relied on,” they add.

Channel 12 news reports that Israel is expected to be presented with a proposal for all hostages to be freed in exchange for all Palestinian prisoners and an end to the war, a proffer that Jerusalem will reject.

“Our eye remains on the ball,” it quotes an Israeli source saying. “Bringing back the hostages and destroying Hamas military and governing capabilities are two complementary goals — one does not replace the other.”

Channel 13 news reports that Israel is interested in extending the current truce arrangement to get another 30 hostages out at least.

Video shows van thought to hold hostages traveling through Gaza

Video coming out of southern Gaza shows a parade of three white pickup trucks and vans driving through streets as passersby look on.

The vehicles, some of which have multiple gunmen hanging off the sides, are thought to contain some of the hostages set to be released by Hamas in the coming hours, according to Hebrew-language media reports.

The veracity of the footage cannot immediately be verified.

It’s unclear from the footage if the vehicles are traveling to a Red Cross meeting point or another location.

French hospital ship docks off Sinai with 40 beds

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, stands at attention on the deck of the amphibious helicopter carrier Dixmude docked in the French Navy base of Toulon, southern France, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022. (Eric Gaillard, Pool via AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron, left, stands at attention on the deck of the amphibious helicopter carrier Dixmude docked in the French Navy base of Toulon, southern France, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022. (Eric Gaillard, Pool via AP)

A ship dispatched by France has docked off the coast of El Arish in Egypt’s northern Sinai and will serve as a floating hospital for Palestinian civilians wounded in the Israel-Hamas war in adjacent Gaza, France President Emmanuel Macron announces.

The Dixmude ship contains 40 hospital beds, adding 10 percent to the capacity of hospital services set up in the desert of northern Sinai bordering Gaza, a French diplomat tells The Times of Israel.

The ship comes equipped with a helicopter landing pad to allow for the speedy transfer of patients from Egypt’s Rafah crossing onto the ship. Damage from fighting in Gaza has made docking large ships off the Strip untenable.

The Dixmude is slated to be operational within the coming hours or days, the French diplomat says, adding that Paris is coordinating the effort with Egyptian officials and humanitarian agencies on the ground.

It will be staffed by doctors from France’s defense ministry as well as its civilian health sanitary reserve, which is being deployed abroad for the first time, the diplomat says.

Israel has been pushing for field hospitals and other alternatives to the existing medical centers in Gaza, saying that Hamas is operating command centers beneath them.

The World Health Organization says there are currently 30,000 wounded Palestinians in Gaza, based on figures furnished by Hamas-controlled health authorities.

Paris is also preparing to transfer as many as 50 wounded Gazans back to France for treatment, the diplomat says.

France has held off on calling for a complete ceasefire, backing Israel’s right to self-defense against Hamas. However, a ceasefire is the eventual goal, the French diplomat says.

Report says hostages handed to ICRC

Hamas has handed a fifth group of hostages to the International Committee of the Red Cross as part of the process of releasing them from captivity in Gaza, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing unnamed Egyptian officials.

There is no official word on any transfer taking place.

Turkey says it will set up field hospitals in Gaza

Turkey’s health minister says his country hopes to soon set up field hospitals and start providing health services in Gaza.

Fahrettin Koca makes the announcement on X, formerly known as Twitter, hours after a Turkish delegation crossed into Gaza from Egypt to inspect possible sites for field hospitals. He does not provide additional information.

Turkey dispatched a ship carrying medical equipment and supplies, including ambulances and eight field hospitals, to Egypt earlier this month.

Mother of soldier declared dead: They couldn’t even give back your body

The mother of Sgt. Shaked Dahan, a soldier missing since October 7 who the army declared dead on Tuesday along with two others, writes on Facebook that she will not observe the traditional seven-day Jewish mourning period until her son’s body is returned from Gaza.

“I did for you what I needed to as a mother. I managed to keep you safe and protect you in many situations,” writes Sigalit Gal. “You’ve been taken from me forever. They took you and didn’t bother to return you, not even your body.”

“They don’t respect you, don’t respect the family and certainly not the state,” she adds. “I’ve decided I will not sit shiva until your body is returned.”

The army said Tuesday that Staff Sgt. Tomer Yaakov Ahimas, 20, Sgt. Kiril Brodski, 19, and Dahan, 19, were “fallen soldiers held hostage by a terror group,” after earlier listing them as abducted.

The military’s chief rabbi declared their deaths based on various findings obtained by the IDF, but only Yaakov Ahimasm and Brodski can be buried according to Jewish law.

 

Process of freeing fifth set of hostages begins — reports

The process of transferring the 10 hostages set to be released Tuesday to the Red Cross has begun in Gaza, Hebrew-language media outlets report.

According to Channel 13 news, the freed hostages could be in Israeli hands within the hour.

Kisses, waves, hugs as iconic freed hostage Yaffa Adar, 85, discharged from hospital

Yaffa Adar says goodbye to medical staff at Wolfson Medical Center as she leaves the hospital on November 28, 2023. Adar, an 85-year-old grandmother, was abducted by Hamas on October 7 and released on Novemver 24. (Wolfson Medical Center)
Yaffa Adar says goodbye to medical staff at Wolfson Medical Center as she leaves the hospital on November 28, 2023. Adar, an 85-year-old grandmother, was abducted by Hamas on October 7 and released on Novemver 24. (Wolfson Medical Center)

Wolfson Medical Center in Holon releases pictures and video of Yaffa Adar, 85, being discharged from the hospital earlier this afternoon.

She walks along the corridor looking happy and remarkably strong, with one hand on a walker for minor assistance.

Adar waves, blows kisses and embraces medical staff amid scenes of celebration as she leaves the hospital.

Adar, whose three children gave her eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, was abducted by Hamas on October 7 and released on November 24.

She emerged as an icon of dignity and quiet defiance after footage emerged of her keeping a stiff upper lip even as ecstatic terrorists, who had just perpetrated a massacre in her Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, drove her off into captivity in a mobility scooter, and later a car inside Gaza.

Yaffa Adar sits as Hamas terrorists abduct her to Gaza from her home in Nir Oz on October 7, 2023. (Screenshot from a video X, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Tamir Adar, one of her grandchildren, is presumed to be held hostage in Gaza. The 38-year-old is thought to have been taken captive while defending Nir Oz.

Yaffa Adar, center, reuniting with her family after being released from captivity in Gaza on November 24, 2023. (Courtesy)

Climate activist Thunberg flogged for ‘crush Zionism’ chant

Climate activist Greta Thunberg, left, is hugged by Afghan Sahar Shirzad after Thunberg was interrupted by a climate activist for expressing solidarity with the Palestinians in Amsterdam, Nov. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Climate activist Greta Thunberg, left, is hugged by Afghan Sahar Shirzad after Thunberg was interrupted by a climate activist for expressing solidarity with the Palestinians in Amsterdam, Nov. 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Footage showing climate activist Greta Thunberg chanting “crush Zionism” at a recent pro-Palestinian rally in Sweden is provoking harsh-worded criticism of her by prominent Jewish environmentalists.

The actions by Thunberg, whom many regard as a symbol of the environmentalist movement, reflect how “large parts of ‘the left’ or ‘progressives’ have been intellectually captured by a naive, distorted and frankly bigoted anti-Zionism,” Nigel Savage, a UK-born environmental activist and founder of Jewish environmental nonprofit organization Hazon, tells The Times of Israel Tuesday.

Savage, whose Jerusalem-based group was established in 2000 and holds environmentally oriented bike rides in New York, adds: “It is a microcosm of a far larger and far greater challenge. It’s sad and disturbing.”

Thunberg has not immediately replied to attempts to obtain her reaction.

Alon Tal, a former Israeli lawmaker and a prominent environmental studies scientist, says that Thunberg has had “a historic role in raising global awareness about climate change,” but has “misused her stature to promote racist, violent positions.”

A Swedish 20-year-old who dropped out of school in 2018 to pursue a full-time activism career against what she warns is an impending climate-related crisis, Thunberg is a vocal supporter of Palestinians and has posted photos of herself with signs supporting Gaza, including ones reading: “Stop the Holocaust” and “Jews for the liberation of Palestine.”

Six days of aid not enough to keep Gaza from starving, UN agency warns

Palestinians walk among destroyed buildings in Gaza City on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023. (AP/Adel Hana)
Palestinians walk among destroyed buildings in Gaza City on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023. (AP/Adel Hana)

The population of Gaza risks famine if humanitarian food supplies do not continue, the UN’s World Food Programme warns.

Six days is “not enough to make any meaningful impact,” the agency says, calling for “uninterrupted and regular supplies” of food into Gaza.

The WFP says it delivered food to 121,161 people in Gaza since Friday, when a four-day truce between Israel and Hamas began. The truce was extended by two days on Tuesday.

“Thanks to the pause, our teams have been in action on the ground, going into areas we haven’t reached for a long time. What we see is catastrophic,” says WFP’s director for the Middle East, Corinne Fleischer.

WFP estimates that it is “highly likely that the population of Gaza, especially women and children, are at high risk of famine if WFP is not able to provide continued access to food.”

Netanyahu’s office: Mossad chief in Qatar; next group of hostages ‘expected tonight’

Priime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and colleagues speak with Mossad chief David Barnea, who is in Qatar, November 28, 2023 (Haim Zach / GPO)
Priime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and colleagues speak with Mossad chief David Barnea, who is in Qatar, November 28, 2023 (Haim Zach / GPO)

The Prime Minister’s Office releases a picture showing what it says is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and colleagues in conversation with Mossad chief David Barnea “who is currently in Qatar” — formally confirming Barnea’s current whereabouts.

The PMO says the telephone conversation took place “ahead of the expected return of the hostages tonight” — a reference to the anticipated release of a fifth group of Israeli hostages, in addition to the 50 freed by Hamas since Friday in exchange for the release of 150 Palestinian security prisoners.

The reference implies that the initial four-day truce has indeed been extended, and would appear to indicate that the extension remains in force even though Israeli troops were targeted in northern Gaza in an apparent violation of the truce a short while ago.

Three soldiers abducted by Hamas declared dead by army

L-R: Staff Sgt. Tomer Yaakov Ahimas, Sgt. Kiril Brodski, and Sgt. Shaked Dahan. (Courtesy)
L-R: Staff Sgt. Tomer Yaakov Ahimas, Sgt. Kiril Brodski, and Sgt. Shaked Dahan. (Courtesy)

The Israel Defense Forces announces the deaths of three soldiers who were abducted by Hamas on October 7.

They are: Staff Sgt. Tomer Yaakov Ahimas, 20, from Lehavim; Sgt. Kiril Brodski, 19, from Ramat Gan; and Sgt. Shaked Dahan, 19, from Afula.

The three were killed on October 7 and the military’s chief rabbi declared their deaths based on various findings obtained by the IDF.

The three are listed as “fallen soldiers held hostage by a terror group,” but Ahimas and Brodski can be buried according to halacha.

Their deaths bring the toll of fallen IDF soldiers since October 7 to 395.

Elderly freed hostage Elma Avraham out of danger — hospital

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)

Elma Avraham, an 84-year-old brought to Israel in critical condition after being released on Sunday from Gazan captivity, is on the mend and off a ventilator, the head of the trauma unit at Soroka hospital says.

“I’m happy to report that the last few hours have seen an improvement in her condition,” Prof. Moti Klein says. “She is awake, breathing on her own and no longer needs the same level of care as when she got here.”

Klein says Avraham arrived at Ichilov late Sunday with all of her vital signs “extremely low.” The Nahal Oz resident had taken several medications for chronic conditions, some of which doctors described as life-saving, but she did not have access to the medication while held in Gaza.

“This is why she was listed in life-threatening condition,” Klein says. “These signs and lab tests bolstered the understanding that her condition was seemingly a result of not taking these required medications.”

He says Avraham is remaining in intensive care for continued treatment.

In Gaza tunnels, a hostage child found comfort in his former caregiver

Eitan Yahalomi, 12, with his mother in Ichilov hospital on November 27, 2023 after being released by Hamas in a truce agreement. (IDF)
Eitan Yahalomi, 12, with his mother in Ichilov hospital on November 27, 2023 after being released by Hamas in a truce agreement. (IDF)

Eitan Yahalomi, a 12-year-old boy from Nir Oz who was separated from his family on October 7 and abducted into Gaza alone, was able to find comfort once united with a familiar face in the depths of Hamas captivity: that of his former daycare teacher.

Esther Yahalomi, the grandmother of the recently freed tween, says his first 16 days as a hostage were the toughest because he was left completely alone.

“A month ago they moved him to a group of people from Nir Oz, and it was much easier for him there. His caregiver from preschool was there, and he was able to see familiar faces,” she tells Hebrew-language media outside the Tel Aviv hospital where he is recuperating.

The grandmother says the boy appears to be thinner than normal, and will not smile or really even speak. “He’s very, very subdued. I think it’s going to take him some time. It’s going to take a lot of work to get him to a place where he is able to talk.”

 

Kids released from Gaza being closely watched for renourishment issues

Prof. Ronit Lubetzky, head of the pediatric department at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center’s Dana-Dwek Children’s Hospital, reports that the nine children and two mothers released from Hamas captivity who arrived last night are in stable medical condition.

The main physical issues the hospital’s team is treating the children for are orthopedic and nutritional. Without naming it directly, Lubetzky refers to Refeeding Syndrome, in which an undernourished person can become critically ill if given too much food and drink too quickly during their recovery.

“We are monitoring very closely what they are taking in. I can share that when one of the girls arrived and we asked her how she was feeling, she said she wanted to eat an empanada. She did have a little bit of an empanada for brunch today, and she said it was pretty good,” Lubetzky says.

“Before Erez and Sahar Calderon arrived, their mother Hadas said she had a feeling her kids would ask for yogurt with granola and grapes. Sure enough, that is what they asked for at 5 a.m.,” she adds.

In addition to ongoing physiological tests and monitoring, the children and families are undergoing psychosocial evaluations. Coordination for the former hostages’ ongoing care with healthcare professionals in the community has begun, and they will be discharged from the hospital when they are ready.

Ben Gvir tells Netanyahu not to take breach of truce lying down

Hawkish National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir is seemingly pushing for Israel to scrap its ongoing truce deal with Hamas, after the IDF says that the Gaza-based terror group breached the agreement by targeting IDF forces in the Strip with explosives.

In a statement, Ben Gvir urges Netanyahu not to “contain” the incident, but to unleash an Israeli response and “order the IDF to resume forcefully crushing Hamas.”

“We cannot wait for them to kill our fighters,” writes Ben Gvir, a member of the security cabinet.

According to the IDF, Hamas targeted soldiers stationed in the northern part of the Gaza Strip with three explosive devices, the first apparent major breach of a ceasefire agreement that is in its fifth day.

Jerusalem is unlikely to trash the deal over the breach, however, according to television news analysts.

Thai foreign minister visits freed hostages in Israel

Israeli and Thai foreign ministers Eli Cohen and Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara visit the freed Thai workers at Shamir Medical center in Israel. (Gideon Sharon/Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Israeli and Thai foreign ministers Eli Cohen and Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara visit the freed Thai workers at Shamir Medical center in Israel. (Gideon Sharon/Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Thailand’s Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara visit the 17 Thai workers who have been released from captivity in Gaza after they were taken hostage by Hamas during its brutal October 7 assault on Israel.

Cohen says the laborers had received “the most dedicated treatment” and that they would be entitled to the same welfare benefits as all other Israeli hostages.

“Israel is committed to bringing back all the hostages, Israelis and foreigners alike,” says Cohen during the visit to Shamir Medical Center in central Israel. He describes Israeli-Thai relations as “true friendship.”

“I promised my friend, the foreign minister of Thailand, that we will help rehabilitate everyone who has been physically or mentally harmed. Helping the Thai foreign workers, who for some farmers are family, is not a gesture on our part; we consider it our duty,” he adds.

Bahiddha-Nukara arrived in Israel today for what the Israeli Foreign Ministry says is a solidarity visit.

Cohen expresses his condolences for the murder of 39 Thai citizens during the October 7 attacks, and expressed hope that the remaining Thai nationals held hostage by Hamas, thought to number 15 people, will soon be released.

Halevi: IDF ready to resume fighting now, using truce to beef up readiness

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi gives a press statement in northern Israel, November 28, 2023. (Screenshot: Israel Defense Forces)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi gives a press statement in northern Israel, November 28, 2023. (Screenshot: Israel Defense Forces)

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi says the military is ready “today” to potentially resume the fighting in the Gaza Strip, while also noting reports of intelligence failures that led to the October 7 onslaught being carried out.

“Today, the IDF is ready to continue fighting. We are using the days of truce as part of the agreement for learning, strengthening readiness, and approving the operational plans for the duration,” Halevi says in a press statement in northern Israel.

“We are preparing to continue fighting to dismantle Hamas. It will take time, these are complex goals, but they are more than justified,” Halevi adds, as a truce initially planned to last four days stretched to a fifth to allow more hostages to be released.

He says each hostage who returns is a “great relief,” but the IDF will not stop until all of them are released.

“The return of the hostages is a ray of light for all of us. It is also another testimony to the results of significant military pressure and high-quality ground maneuver. We created the conditions for the return of our citizens home. We will continue to do so,” Halevi says.

Speaking on recent reports that the military had intelligence of Hamas’s plans for the October 7 onslaught but senior officers largely ignored the warnings by their subordinates, Halevi says everything will be investigated after the war.

“In the last few days, there has been talk about the conduct of the IDF and the Military Intelligence Directorate prior to the events of October 7. In view of the dire results, the interest in this is understandable,” he says. “We will answer to this. We will listen carefully to each and every one of our subordinates and learn both what they thought and what they said.”

“The IDF, including the Military Intelligence Directorate, failed on October 7,” Halevi says. “There will be incisive and deep investigations, but now we must focus on fighting.”

“The commanders of the IDF and in particular the personnel of the Military Intelligence Directorate and the Southern Command are currently busy fighting,” Halevi says.”It would not be right for IDF commanders to be busy discussing responsibility with one or the other, I need them working together in the face of the many and complex tasks before them,” he says.

Halevi says all the commanders he has met since the beginning of the war showed a “heavy sense of responsibility.”

“Right now everything is dedicated to fighting. We will not stop until we restore security to the State of Israel,” he adds.

Israeli troops in northern Gaza targeted with bombs, in apparent breach of truce

The Israel Defense Forces says a number of soldiers are lightly hurt after being attacked by Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip, in what appears to be the first serious violation of the ceasefire. Hamas accuses the IDF of violating the ceasefire first.

According to the IDF, three explosive devices were detonated near forces at two separate locations in the northern Gaza Strip, “in violation of the truce agreements.”

The army says that in one of the incidents, gunfire was also directed at troops, who returned fire.

“In both cases, the IDF forces were within the agreed-upon ceasefire lines,” it adds.

The spokesman for the military wing of Hamas says its fighters were responding to a “clear violation” of the ceasefire by the IDF in the northern Gaza Strip, which resulted in a clash. It offers no other details.

Hamas says it is “committed to the truce as long as the enemy adheres to it, and we call on the mediators to pressure the occupation to adhere to all the terms of the truce on the ground and in the air.”

Father says girl, 9, released from captivity thought she was there for a year, won’t stop whispering

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)

Thomas Hand, the father of nine-year-old Emily who was released from Hamas captivity, says she thought she had been held hostage for a year and now cries herself to sleep.

Speaking to CNN, Hand says his daughter’s recovery will be slow.

She’s coming out slowly, little by little,” Hand said.

“We’ll only know what she really went through as she opens up,” he tells CNN. “I want to know so much information … but you have to let them, when they are ready, come out with it.”

He says he was shocked at the transformation she underwent in captivity.

“It was only when she stepped back that I could see her face was chiseled, like mine, whereas before it was chubby, girly, a young kid face.”

“The most shocking, disturbing part of meeting her was she was just whispering, you couldn’t hear her. I had to put my ear on her lips,” he says. “She’d been conditioned not to make any noise.”

He says he asked her how long she thought she had been a hostage and she replied “a year.”

“Apart from the whispering, that was a punch in the guts. A year.”

He also says that she cries herself to sleep at night.

“Last night she cried until her face was red and blotchy, she couldn’t stop. She didn’t want any comfort, I guess she’s forgotten how to be comforted,” Hand says.  “She went under the covers of the bed, the quilt, covered herself up and quietly cried.”

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.

Aunt says Hamas forced 12-year-old hostage to watch videos of atrocities, aimed gun at him when he cried

Eitan Yahalomi hugs his mother after getting off an IDF helicopter after being released from Hamas captivity on November 27, 2023 (Israel Defense Forces)
Eitan Yahalomi hugs his mother after getting off an IDF helicopter after being released from Hamas captivity on November 27, 2023 (Israel Defense Forces)

The aunt of Eitan Yahalomi, 12, who was released from Gaza captivity last night, tells French TV that terrorists forced him to watch videos of the atrocities they carried out on October 7.

She also says that any time a child in captivity cried “they threatened them with rifles to shut them up.”

Speaking to BFM, Devora Cohen says that “the Hamas terrorists forced him to watch films of the horrors, the kind that no one wants to see, they forced him to watch them.”

She says the Hamas members were “monsters.”

“When he arrived in Gaza, all the residents, everyone, beat him. He is a 12-year-old child,” she says.

Yahalomi, who is a dual Israeli-French citizen, was initially taken captive with his mother and two sisters, but they managed to escape and ran away, returning to Israel, as Eitan was carried into Gaza on a moped.

Separately, Eitan’s father, Ohad, who was shot in a gun battle with the Hamas terrorists, was also apparently taken captive to Gaza, where he remains.

16 released Thai hostages to return home tomorrow

Thai nationals freed from Gazan captivity hug at a hospital in Israel in a photo released by the Thai government on November 27, 2023. (Courtesy)
Thai nationals freed from Gazan captivity hug at a hospital in Israel in a photo released by the Thai government on November 27, 2023. (Courtesy)

Sixteen of the released Thai hostages will be freed from hospital and return home to Thailand tomorrow, Army Radio reports.

The news comes after Thai Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-nukara visited Israel today, meeting with the released hostages.

 

Qatar: Talks for release of soldiers held by Hamas will begin after civilians freed

Qatari Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Majed Al-Ansari gives details of a planned hostage release, at a press conference in Doha, November 23, 2023 (CNN screenshot, used in accordance with clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Qatari Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Majed Al-Ansari gives details of a planned hostage release, at a press conference in Doha, November 23, 2023 (CNN screenshot, used in accordance with clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Qatar says that negotiations for the release of Israel Defense Force soldiers held hostage by Hamas will begin after civilian hostages are freed.

In a press briefing, Qatar Foreign Ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari says, “The current priority is the release of civilian hostages, women and children, then will come the turn of the military ones,” he says.

Highlighting the role of Qatar alongside Egypt in mediating for the freedom of the abductees, Al-Ansari also says that the Gulf country cannot at this moment confirm the release of any additional Israeli hostages beyond the 20 that are slated to be released in two groups of ten today and tomorrow according to the terms of the two-day extension of the truce agreed to by the parties.

“Qatar is supporting all regional efforts to achieve a permanent ceasefire in Gaza,” Al-Ansari adds, noting that there is ongoing coordination among Arab countries to issue a joint message to this effect to the international community.

Mossad chief Barnea in Qatar for fresh talks, will meet CIA director

Mossad director David Barnea speaks at a conference at Reichman University on September 10, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)
Mossad director David Barnea speaks at a conference at Reichman University on September 10, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)

Mossad chief David Barnea is in Doha for talks with CIA director Bill Burns and top Qatari officials, The Times of Israel is told.

This is Barnea’s third trip to Qatar since the start of the war, and he also hosted top Qatari officials in Israel, as Doha mediates between Israel and Hamas.

The visit comes after Israel and Hamas agree on a two-day extension of the temporary truce in order to allow for the release of at least 20 more hostages from Gaza.

Barnea’s talks are focused on ensuring the smooth release of the additional 20 hostages and possibly expanding the temporary truce for more days in order to ensure the release of all the women and children.

Israel believes there were up to 93 women and children being held by the terror groups, excluding five female soldiers, and believes the next two days are critical in getting Hamas to extend the deal to include all of them.

Israel has agreed to release 30 Palestinian security prisoners and extend the truce by 24 hours for every 10 Israeli hostages released.

So far Hamas has released 51 Israelis and another 19 foreign workers.

The second reason for Barnea’s trip is to lay the groundwork for future deals that could include those hostages who did not fall under the current agreement, including men and possibly soldiers.

Sister pleads for release of Bibas family, including baby, still held in Gaza

Ofri Bibas wears a shirt with a picture of her brother, sister-in-law and their two children, age 4 and 10 months, held hostage in Gaza, in Tel Aviv, Nov. 21, 2023. (AP/Ariel Schalit)
Ofri Bibas wears a shirt with a picture of her brother, sister-in-law and their two children, age 4 and 10 months, held hostage in Gaza, in Tel Aviv, Nov. 21, 2023. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

Ofri Bibas pleads for the release of her brother Yarden Bibas, his wife Shiri, 32, and their sons Ariel, 4, and 10-month-old Kfir.

“We’re talking to you today because tomorrow is the last day of the current ceasefire,” she tells reporters. “At the moment they are the youngest hostages still remaining in Hamas captivity.”

“We don’t know where they’ve been held. From what we know, they are kept underground,” says Ofri. “We’re really worried about the 10-month-old baby with formula as the main diet.”

“We call upon the Israeli government and Qatar and Egypt, everybody who is involved in these negotiations and this deal, to do whatever they can to include our family in this deal and to release them as soon as possible,” says Ofri.

The Bibas family, father Yarden, mother Shiri, baby Kfir and four-year-old Ariel, were taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from Kibbutz Nir Oz (Courtesy)

The IDF said yesterday that the Bibas family was transferred by Hamas to another Palestinian terror group in Gaza, dampening hopes of their release during the current truce.

Ofri Bibas says she has no information on who is holding them, but calls the failure to release them psychological warfare.

“It’s working really well because the last four days have been a big nightmare,” she says. “I hope they don’t hold them as a trophy.”

Hamas says dialysis unit at Shifa Hospital reopened and is receiving patients

Palestinians at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, November 10, 2023. (Flash90)
Palestinians at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, November 10, 2023. (Flash90)

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says the dialysis unit at Shifa Hospital has been reopened and is receiving patients.

In a brief statement, the ministry invited patients to resume treatment.

Israeli troops raided Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, earlier this month, leading to the evacuation of hundreds of patients and thousands of displaced people who had been sheltering there. The hospital had run low on food, water and electricity, and was no longer able to accept patients.

Israel says Hamas used the hospital for military purposes. The military revealed a secret tunnel leading to several rooms under the complex, along with other evidence, including weapons, indicating the presence of the terror group.

The World Health Organization says there are still 180 patients, including 22 on kidney dialysis, and seven healthcare workers at Shifa.

The current Hamas-Israel ceasefire has allowed some relief goods and supplies to enter Gaza.

Family of Ravid Katz, believed a Gaza hostage, informed he was killed on October 7

Ravid Katz, resident of Kibbutz Nir Oz, who was believed to be a captive in Gaza, was later identified as killed in the Hamas assault of October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)
Ravid Katz, resident of Kibbutz Nir Oz, who was believed to be a captive in Gaza, was later identified as killed in the Hamas assault of October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)

The family of Ravid Katz, who was believed to have been taken hostage, announce that they have been informed that he was killed on October 7, and his body has been identified.

Katz is the brother of Doron Katz-Asher, who was released last week along with her daughters Raz, 5, and Aviv, 2.

“Yesterday we were informed of the bitter news that Ravid Katz, the brother of my wife Doron, was killed in the events of Oct. 7,” says brother-in-law Yoni Asher in a statement.

“Ravid lived in Kibbutz Nir Oz, was a man of education, of the beautiful Land of Israel, a wonderful father to Shahar, Shira, and little Alma who is six months old, and a partner to Revital. We will always remember him.”

IDF chief meets northern municipal heads: Ready for any scenario in the north

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, center,, meets with northern municipal heads on November 28, 2023 (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, center,, meets with northern municipal heads on November 28, 2023 (Israel Defense Forces)

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi meets with heads of the municipalities in northern Israel, telling them the military is ready for any scenario along the Lebanese border.

“We made a difficult decision to evacuate the residents in the north, and I am full of appreciation for the way you showed resilience and patience, and allowed us to fight,” says Halevi.

Halevi says the return of evacuated residents will be coordinated with local authorities “on the understanding that we will not be able to return to the situation that existed here before the war.”

“For the past eight weeks, IDF fighters and their commanders have been fighting with determination and defending our home. We will continue to fight and are ready for developments in other arenas, including in the north,” he says.

There have been repeated clashes along the border between Israel and Hezbollah and Palestinian groups in the area, but the frontier has been largely quiet since a temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas went into effect in Gaza on Friday.

IDF denies firing shells into south Lebanon

The Israel Defense Forces denies it fired shells into south Lebanon.

The statement comes after Lebanese state media reported IDF shelling along the border.

IDF releases pictures of hostages reuniting with family

Eitan Yahalomi hugs his mother after getting off an IDF helicopter after being released from Hamas captivity on November 27, 2023 (Israel Defense Forces)
Eitan Yahalomi hugs his mother after getting off an IDF helicopter after being released from Hamas captivity on November 27, 2023 (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces release a series of pictures from last night showing released child hostages reuniting with family members.

Sahar Calderon, right, hugs her mother after being released from Hamas captivity on November 27, 2023 (Israel Defense Forces)
Members of the Engel-Bart family embrace after the release of Karina Engel-Bart, 51, and daughters Mika, 18, and Yuval, 11 after being released from Hamas captivity on November 27, 2023 (Israel Defense Forces)
Yagil Yaakov, 13, holds his mother’s hand on an IDF helicopter after being released from Hamas captivity on November 27, 2023 (Israel Defense Forces)

The IDF also releases a video of Eitan Yahalomi, 12, hugging his mother after getting off an IDF helicopter.

UN chief Guterres: Palestinians enduring ‘one of the darkest chapters’ in their history

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers remarks during a Security Council open debate on the maintenance of international peace and security at the UN headquarters in New York on November 20, 2023. (Yuki IWAMURA / AFP)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivers remarks during a Security Council open debate on the maintenance of international peace and security at the UN headquarters in New York on November 20, 2023. (Yuki IWAMURA / AFP)

The head of the United Nations reiterates his call for a long-term truce in Gaza and the release of all hostages held by Palestinian terrorists.

In a statement, ahead of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says Palestinians were enduring “one of the darkest chapters” in their history.

Guterres again condemned Hamas’s Oct. 7 assault on Israel but said it “cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

Guterres has been repeatedly criticized by Israel for appearing to justify the Hamas assault — which killed some 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and saw 240 taken hostage — when he claimed the attack did not “take place in a vacuum.”

He calls for “a long-term humanitarian ceasefire, unrestricted access for lifesaving aid, the release of all hostages, the protection of civilians and an end to violations of international humanitarian law.”

Israel and Hamas have agreed to extend a temporary cease-fire through Wednesday, with more planned releases of terror-held hostages and Palestinian security prisoners from jails in Israel. But Israel has vowed to resume the war to destroy Hamas once it stops releasing hostages.

IDF said to be shelling south Lebanon

Israeli forces are shelling targets in southern Lebanon, the Reuters news agency reports, citing state media.

There is no immediate comment from the Israel Defense Forces.

There have been repeated clashes along the border between Israel and Hezbollah and Palestinian groups in the area, but the frontier has been largely quiet since a temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas went into effect in Gaza on Friday.

National Security Ministry gets NIS 1.8 billion boost in revised budget

Israel Police Chief Kobi Shabtai (4th from right), and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir (3rd from right) at the Israel Police Independence Day ceremony at the National Headquarters of the Israel Police in Jerusalem April 20, 2023. (Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90)
Israel Police Chief Kobi Shabtai (4th from right), and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir (3rd from right) at the Israel Police Independence Day ceremony at the National Headquarters of the Israel Police in Jerusalem April 20, 2023. (Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90)

The National Security Ministry will receive an additional NIS 1.8 billion for purchasing equipment for police, civilian response teams, the prison service, and firefighters, says a statement from Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s office.

The bump was approved yesterday by the cabinet, as part of a NIS 30 billion reorientation of the budget toward the war effort. The changes still require Knesset approval to finalize.

Among the equipment to be purchased are guns, bulletproof vests, helmets, bulletproof vehicles, security cameras, and unspecified “technological systems” for the police.

California city passes resolution calling for Gaza ceasefire, rejects motion to condemn Hamas

Audience members show their support at a special session of the Oakland City Council for a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, in Oakland, California. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
Audience members show their support at a special session of the Oakland City Council for a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, in Oakland, California. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

Oakland’s City Council passes a resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war after hours of hearing impassioned rhetoric about the deaths of thousands in Gaza.

The council in the California Bay Area city votes 8-0 in favor of a motion supporting a congressional resolution for a permanent ceasefire, along with the unrestricted entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza and a restoration of basic services, as well as “respect for international law” and the release of all hostages.

Before the vote, the council voted 6-2 to reject proposed amendments by member Dan Kalb that specifically condemned killings and hostage-taking by Hamas, whose Oct. 7 attacks in Israel prompted the war that has devastated Gaza.

US cities have been adopting resolutions regarding the conflict even though they have no legal role or formal say in the process.

Iran’s Raisi calls off visit to Turkey that had been expected to focus on Israel-Hamas war

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi shake hands at the conclusion of their joint press briefing at the Saadabad Palace, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, July 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, and his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi shake hands at the conclusion of their joint press briefing at the Saadabad Palace, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, July 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will not be making a previously announced visit to Ankara today, the Turkish presidency tells AFP, without providing a reason.

The visit had been announced earlier this month by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said the two leaders would focus on forging a joint response to the Israel-Hamas war.

“Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is coming to us on the 28th of the month,” Erdogan told reporters on board his flight back from a November 11 regional summit in Riyadh.

It was also announced by Turkey’s official state media and discussed heavily on Turkish television as late as Monday.

Erdogan spoke by phone with Raisi on Sunday, according to the Turkish presidency.

It was not immediately clear whether the visit had been canceled or postponed.

WATCH: Family dog brought to hospital to comfort released child hostages

In an effort to help three released hostage children readjust, their family dog Rodney was brought to the Schneider Children’s Medical Center where they are being treated after their release, the hospital says.

Hagar Brodutch, 40, was among several hostages released late Sunday along with with her three children Ofri, 10, Yuval, 9 and Oriya.

“The family was aware that nothing would make them happier than to see their beloved dog, so they brought him to the department,” the hospital says.

The hospital releases a film of the reunion.

The four were abducted by terrorists from their Kfar Aza home, along with Avigail Idan, who was hiding with them. Avihai Brodutch, the husband and father, was defending the kibbutz while his family was hiding in their sealed room. When he returned, wounded, he found his family gone and he thought they were dead, before later finding out they had been abducted.

Families of October 7 victims visit Australia parliament

Mika Shani, sister of Hamas hostage Amit Shani, holds a photo of her brother in front of cardboard cutouts representing Israeli hostages, during a protest outside Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, November 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk)
Mika Shani, sister of Hamas hostage Amit Shani, holds a photo of her brother in front of cardboard cutouts representing Israeli hostages, during a protest outside Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, November 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk)

Relatives and a friend of Israelis taken hostage and killed by Hamas visit Australia’s Parliament House, sharing personal stories in an effort to lobby for international support for all hostages to be freed — and to support Israel’s war effort.

The group of five will meet political leaders during a two-day visit in Canberra.

“Our aim first is to get the hostages back, all of them,” Elad Levy tells reporters outside the Parliament House. Levy’s niece, Roni Eshel, was a 19-year-old soldier initially thought kidnapped during Hamas’s Oct. 7 incursion into Israel but confirmed dead weeks later.

“Our second aim is to get the support of the Australian people and the Australian government… for Israel’s actions in wiping out Hamas and in our military actions right now to eradicate Hamas,” Levy says.

Australia’s major political parties have supported Israel’s right to defend itself but have urged Israel to comply with international law by containing noncombatant casualties in Gaza.

‘Sex and the City’ star on hunger strike for Gaza outside White House

US actress and activist Cynthia Nixon, joined by state legislators and activists, launches a hunger strike calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on November 27, 2023. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP)
US actress and activist Cynthia Nixon, joined by state legislators and activists, launches a hunger strike calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on November 27, 2023. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP)

‘Sex and the City’ star Cynthia Nixon joins a group of activists outside the White House who say they are going on a hunger strike to show their support for Gaza.

Nixon says the protest is against the high death toll in Gaza from Israeli strikes — which she says exceeds the civilian toll during the US war in Afghanistan — and claims that Gaza is on the verge of starvation.

“We are here hunger-striking just to sort of mirror to Biden the kind of deprivation that is happening in Gaza and how he has it within his power to make a ceasefire happen,” she tells reporters.

The protest comes despite the current temporary truce, which has allowed the release of some of the hostages held by Hamas and an increased flow of aid into Gaza.

She does not mention the plight of the remaining hostages who were abducted and taken into Gaza, when some 3,000 terrorists crossed the border into Israel and killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians.

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says the death toll from the Israeli military campaign launched after the assault on southern Israel is over 15,000. These figures cannot be independently verified, and do not distinguish between civilians and active members of the Hamas terror group. The figure also does not distinguish between those killed in Israeli strikes and those killed by hundreds of errant rockets launched by Palestinian terrorists that landed inside Gaza.

IDF chief to female tank crews who battled on Gaza border: You have silenced the doubters

A female IDF combat soldier inside a tank (screenshot: Channel 12, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A female IDF combat soldier inside a tank (screenshot: Channel 12, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi meets with female tank crews from the mixed-gender Caracal Battalion that battled on the Gaza border during the October 7 assault, telling them their actions had silenced any doubters over the ability of women to be in combat units.

“As you know there has been a debate in Israel in recent years if women should be in combat units. I say to you: Sometimes you must speak a lot to explain something,” Halevi said. “But I think that in this case we got an answer with no words, an answer of action and fighting.”

The soldiers are part of a company of all-women tank operators, which was made permanent in the Israel Defense Forces in 2022 after a two-year pilot program. The company, in the Caracal light infantry battalion, usually operates along the Egyptian border — not in wars or in fighting behind enemy lines.

On the morning of October 7, they left their base at Nitzana, on the Egyptian border and rushed to the Gaza border.

They were credited with killing dozens of Hamas terrorists in a 17-hour running battle and stopping the attackers’ advance further into Israel at several sites.

Renana Gome posts picture of reunion with two freed sons

Renana Gome posts an picture of her emotional reunion with her two sons Or Yaakov, 16, and Yagil Yaakov, 13, who were among the hostages freed last night.

The picture posted on Facebook with the caption “Home,” shows her hugging the two.

Gome last heard from the boys as they spoke in whispers from a safe room, as they hid from Hamas gunmen on October 7. The last thing Gome heard was her younger son, Yagil, saying, “Don’t take me, I’m too young.” Gome was then called by her sons’ abductors, who told her they had her sons.

Yagil appeared in a propaganda video posted on November 9 by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.

Report: Sinwar’s brother also met with hostages in Gaza

Following reports that Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar met with hostages after they were captured, Army Radio reports that his brother and righthand man Mahmoud Sinwar also met hostages.

Quoting one of the released prisoners from Nir Oz, the report says that Muhammad Sinwar also met with them in an underground tunnel in recent weeks.

The report did not give details of their conversation.

Muhammad Sinwar is also a senior commander in the Hamas military wing and was involved in the abduction and detention of Gilad Shalit, an IDF soldier snatched from inside Israel by Hamas during a cross-border raid, and kept captive for five years in Gaza. Shalit was eventually released in 2011 as part of an exchange for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Lapid slams cabinet decision to unfreeze funding to coalition partners

Opposition Leader and head of the Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid speaks during a faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on November 20, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Opposition Leader and head of the Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid speaks during a faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on November 20, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Opposition leader Yair Lapid slams the cabinet’s decision to unfreeze hundreds of millions of shekels in funding for ultra-Orthodox and West Bank settler priorities instead of diverting the money to fund the war.

“While you were sleeping the government passed a budget with colation funds, that left irrelevant ministries and indulged in small-minded, mean-spirited politics instead of shifting the money to the fighters, those evacuated, and businesses that are collapsing.  There is no shame,” he tweets.

The cabinet late last night approved a NIS 30 billion change to prioritize wartime needs in the remaining portion of Israel’s 2023 state budget, over objections that the plan did not divert also continued to send money already approved by the Likud-led coalition as part of its political promises to partners.

The funds had been temporarily frozen following the outbreak of the war on October 7.

Six cabinet ministers, including five from Benny Gantz’s National Unity party and Economy Minister Nir Barkat from Likud, voted against the move.

The move still needs to be approved by the Knesset.

Police say emergency number failure caused by infrastructure work

Police say that an outage blocking calls to emergency service hotlines 100 for police, 101 for paramedics, and 102 for fire and rescue service was caused by “infrastructure work” on the landline system operated by Bezeq.

The numbers are back working after being down for some three hours.

However, police note that repairs are still ongoing.

Police say that in the event that the hotline goes down again, and only for emergencies, the public can send an SMS to 052-2020100.

Emergency service numbers back online after nearly three-hour outage

Emergency service hotlines 100 for police, 101 for paramedics, and 102 for fire and rescue service are back online following an unspecified outage of about three hours.

During the outage, the hotlines were inactive and callers were asked to dial other numbers to contact emergency services.

The Communications Ministry said the outage was not a cybersecurity attack, in an early morning statement cited by Hebrew media.

Earlier, the Israel Police, the Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedic service, and the National Fire and Rescue Authority said lines were down amid a “temporary error.”

11 Israeli hostages freed Monday in stable condition, says hospital

The 11 Israelis freed on Monday as hostages of Hamas in Gaza are in stable condition and have reunited with their families, say the Health Ministry and Ichilov Hospital, where the hostages were taken by military helicopters earlier.

“This is an exciting and complex night at the same time,” says Dr. Ram Sagi from the Health Ministry, as cited by Hebrew media.

“Ichilov Hospital was prepared and ready to receive the women and children and here they met their families for the first time. They will receive medical and psychological treatment as needed,”

Blinken to visit Israel again this week on 3rd trip to region since October 7

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken boards his aircraft prior to departure, November 27, 2023, at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, as he travels to Brussels for a NATO Foreign Ministers meeting. (Saul Loeb/Pool via AP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken boards his aircraft prior to departure, November 27, 2023, at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, as he travels to Brussels for a NATO Foreign Ministers meeting. (Saul Loeb/Pool via AP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will return this week to the Middle East as the US hopes to find a way to further extend a temporary ceasefire in Gaza and get more hostages released, the State Department said Monday.

It will be his third trip to the region since Hamas launched a war with Israel on October 7, when thousands of terrorists invaded southern Israeli communities, massacring 1,200 people, mostly civilians in their homes and at a music festival, and taking some 240 hostages.

Blinken will travel to Israel and the West Bank after attending Ukraine-focused meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday in Brussels and Skopje, North Macedonia, where foreign ministers from NATO and the Organization for Peace and Security in Europe are gathering.

The four-day truce agreement between Israel and Hamas had been due to expire Monday but was extended for an additional two days, meaning the extension will be expiring just as Blinken is arriving in Israel.

Hamas freed 50 Israeli hostages since Friday when the lull in fighting took effect, and released 18 foreign nationals and one Russian-Israeli national as part of separate agreements. Israel released 150 Palestinian prisoners, mostly women and underaged males.

The government approved a list of 50 more female Palestinian prisoners set for potential release under the extension which is expected to see the release of another 20 or so Israeli hostages over two more days.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday the US hopes to see the pause extended further, but it is dependent on Hamas continuing to release hostages.

Palestinian protest icon Ahed Tamimi on list of 50 prisoners set for potential release in truce extension

File: Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, as she waits to meet with the Tunisian president in the capital Tunis on October 2, 2018. (FETHI BELAID / AFP)
File: Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, as she waits to meet with the Tunisian president in the capital Tunis on October 2, 2018. (FETHI BELAID / AFP)

Prominent Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi is on the list approved earlier of 50 female Palestinian prisoners okayed for potential early release as part of an extended truce agreement with Hamas.

The Justice Ministry published the list of the 50 additional names late Monday.

Tamimi was arrested just three weeks ago after posting on social media that Palestinians will “slaughter” settlers and “drink your blood.”

“Our message to the herds of settlers is that we are waiting for you in all the West Bank cities, from Hebron to Jenin,” Tamimi wrote “We will slaughter you and you will say that what Hitler did to you was a joke, we will drink your blood and eat your skulls. Come on, we’re waiting for you.”

Tamimi became an icon of the Palestinian cause after she was jailed as a teenager for slapping an Israeli soldier. She said the soldiers had shot her cousin in the head with a rubber bullet an hour prior to the filmed encounter.

Tamimi, who was 16 at the time, admitted as part of a plea deal to the aggravated assault of an IDF soldier, incitement to violence, and disrupting soldiers on two other occasions.

She served an eight-month sentence in an Israeli prison, and after she was released, went on a victory tour, crisscrossing Europe and the Middle East.

Since Friday, Hamas has freed 50 Israelis hostages, with 11 released earlier Monday on the fourth day of the initial four-day truce with the terror group following its October 7 shock onslaught and the subsequent Israeli military campaign in the Palestinian enclave.

The truce, set to expire tomorrow (Tuesday), will now extend by two days, Qatar and the US confirmed earlier, and should see the release of about 10 more Israeli hostages per additional truce day.

Under the initial deal, Israel agreed to halt its military operation in Gaza for four days, and release three Palestinian security prisoners for each of the 50 hostages freed from Gaza.

As a result of parallel negotiations led by Qatar, Hamas also released 17 Thais, one Filipino and one dual Russian-Israeli national.

PM receives list of Israeli hostages set for release Tuesday as truce extends by 2 days

Israel received the list of Israeli hostages set to be released tomorrow (Tuesday) by Hamas, says the Prime Minister’s Office, as part of an extended truce agreement reached earlier Monday.

The list of hostages is currently being reviewed, says the PMO, and “notices are being delivered at this time” to the families of those set to be freed after over 50 days as hostages in Gaza.

The announcement does not specify the number of hostages set for release tomorrow. Since Friday, 50 Israeli hostages have been released as part of an initial deal for a four-day lull in fighting in Gaza and the release of three Palestinian prisoners for each Israeli hostage.

As a result of parallel negotiations led by Qatar, Hamas also released 17 Thais, one Filipino and one dual Russian-Israeli national.

The deal also incentivized additional hostage releases: 10 Israeli abductees per additional day of respite in Gaza from Israel’s military campaign in the Palestinian enclave.

Israel and Hamas earlier agreed to extend the temporary truce by two days, paving the way for the release of some 20 more people held hostage by the Palestinian terror group.

The government earlier approved a list of 50 female Palestinian prisoners who are marked for potential early release as part of the truce agreement. The Prime Minister’s Office said in a brief statement that the government okayed the list “should additional Israeli hostages be released.”

News of the extension bolsters hopes for families of the approximately 175 Israelis and foreigners still held in Gaza, including Kfir Bibas, who was 9 months old when he was captured, along with his parents and 4-year-old brother from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7.

That day saw thousands of Hamas-led terrorists stream into southern Israel, where they slaughtered some 1,200 people and took some 240 captive.

Israel Police say emergency lines down amid unspecified ‘error’

The Israel Police says emergency lines are down amid an unspecified “temporary error” in the service.

“The police’s emergency hotline 100 is not active,” police say, adding that and emergency calls be be directed to 052-2020100.

The Magen David Adom paramedic service says callers can dial 073-2630400 for medical assistance and emergency response, “due to a malfunction in the emergency lines,” or use 052-7000101 for SMS and WhatsApp messaging.

11 Israeli civilian hostages, 9 kids and 2 moms, reunite with families in Tel Aviv Hospital

All 11 freed Israeli civilian hostages, nine children and two women, are now under the care of Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, where they are reuniting with their families after 53 days of being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza, the Health Ministry announces.

The hostages will be assessed and provided with medical and psychological care as needed.

In the press announcement, the ministry says: “‏We wish to remind you that these are sensitive moments for the freed hostages and their families and we wish to preserve their privacy.”

‏The ministry says it welcomes the return of the abductees and “wishes for the speedy return of all the other hostages.”

Israel okays budget change to prioritize defense goals, also unlocking funds for Haredi, settler interests

The cabinet approves a NIS 30 billion change to prioritize wartime needs in the remaining portion of Israel’s 2023 state budget amid strong objections that the plan will also send hundreds of millions of shekels to ultra-Orthodox and West Bank settler priorities.

The funds to both causes were already approved by the coalition as part of its political promises to partners, but frozen following the outbreak of the war on October 7.

The five war cabinet ministers from National Unity including party leader Benny Gantz, Chili Trooper, Gadi Eisenkot, and Gideon Sa’ar voted against the budget change and immediately left the plenum tonight.

Economy Minister Nir Barkat (Likud) had also previously threatened to vote against, and Likud minister Ofir Akunis abstained from the vote, saying that Israel’s economic strength pre-war was not guaranteed and that during an earlier committee meeting there was “broad consensus that there would be no spending on anything that is not related to the needs of the war.”

The budgetary changes were expected to overcome the six-vote opposition and now clear the 38-minister cabinet, moving to the Knesset for final approval.

Focusing on the last two months of 2023, the budget update diverts NIS 17 billion ($4.5 billion) to defense and NIS 13.5 billion ($3.64 billion) to civilian wartime needs, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said at the Knesset earlier.

In October, the cabinet froze all funds for discretionary political priorities that had not yet been transferred out of the Finance Ministry, in order to reevaluate which resources could be diverted to the war effort. The attorney general later backed the move. Of the NIS 2.5 billion ($674 million) in these so-called coalition funds still available for reallocation, Smotrich said he cut some NIS 1.6 billion ($430 million), about 70 percent, to divert to the war effort.

The remaining 30% of coalition funds, which following approval can be transferred to various ministries and offices, include at least NIS 300 million ($81 million) for ultra-Orthodox private education, which skirts supervision by the Education Ministry, and what Hebrew media has reported as hundreds of millions of shekels to support settler priorities in the West Bank.

In addition, Smotrich told The Times of Israel that the budget update includes NIS 390 million ($105 million) for beefing up security and security infrastructure in the West Bank.

A source close to Gantz said earlier that the budget being presented to the government is “a finger in the public’s eye,” according to a statement released by his National Unity party.

Freed Israeli hostages soon at Tel Aviv hospital to reunite with families

The freed hostages are arriving at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital to reunite with their families, after traveling from Kerem Shalom crossing where they underwent an initial medical evaluation following their release from Gaza.

They will undergo treatment and evaluation at the the hospital for a few days, depending on their state.

Israel okays list of 50 female Palestinian prisoners who may be released to extend truce

The government approved a list this evening of 50 female Palestinian prisoners who are marked for potential early release as part of an agreement to extend a temporary truce with Hamas in Gaza and secure the release of nearly 20 more Israelis held hostage by the Palestinian terror group since October 7.

Half of the women on the list are citizens of Israel arrested in October or November for incitement to terror and supporting terror. Among the 25 Israeli citizens on the list, one woman from Kafr Qasim in central Israel is serving a 16-year sentence for attempted murder after she stabbed a woman in Rosh Ha’ayin in 2016 in a terror attack.

The Prime Minister’s Office said in a brief statement tonight that the government okayed the list “should additional Israeli hostages be released.”

The additional names brings to 350 the number of Palestinian prisoners selected for potential early release as part of the agreement. Israel has already released 150 Palestinian prisoners, mainly female and underaged males, as of Monday.

Since Friday, Hamas has freed 50 Israelis hostages, with 11 released earlier Monday on the fourth day of the initial four-day truce under which Israel agreed to halt its military operation in Gaza and release three Palestinian security prisoners for each of the 50 Israeli hostages. The agreement was set to expire tomorrow.

The truce will now extend by two days, Qatar and the US confirmed earlier, and should see the release of about 10 more Israeli hostages per additional truce day.

As a result of parallel negotiations led by Qatar, Hamas also released 17 Thais, one Filipino and one dual Russian-Israeli national.

Red Cross yet to see remaining hostages, despite US and Israeli claims such visits were part of truce

Hostages released by Hamas on the fourth day of the ceasefire with Israel are transferred to the Red Cross inside Gaza ahead of their return to Israel, November 27, 2023. (Screenshot)
Hostages released by Hamas on the fourth day of the ceasefire with Israel are transferred to the Red Cross inside Gaza ahead of their return to Israel, November 27, 2023. (Screenshot)

While both Israeli and US officials have insisted that the ongoing truce deal between Israel and Hamas includes a clause requiring the Red Cross to visit the hostages who have not been freed by the fourth day of the temporary ceasefire, no such visits have been reported.

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 and has never in the past allowed the Red Cross to visit those it has abducted.

Asked whether the Red Cross has been able to visit the hostages, a spokesperson for the humanitarian agency refers The Times of Israel to earlier statements asserting that its staff would do so if both parties approve.

No word on release of six additional Thai hostages, despite reports

Hostages released by Hamas on the fourth day of the ceasefire with Israel are transferred to the Red Cross inside Gaza ahead of their return to Israel, November 27, 2023. (Screenshot)
Hostages released by Hamas on the fourth day of the ceasefire with Israel are transferred to the Red Cross inside Gaza ahead of their return to Israel, November 27, 2023. (Screenshot)

While Egyptian media reported that Hamas would release another six Thai hostages today, there has been no official update from Israeli, Hamas, Qatari, Egyptian, or US officials regarding such plans.

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