ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Nov. 29: 10 Israeli, 4 Thai hostages back in Israel, 2 Israeli-Russian women freed earlier

6th set of hostage releases completed after delay * IDF checks ‘cruel’ Hamas claim that Shiri Bibas and her 2 children are dead * PM: War to destroy Hamas will resume after truce ends

  • Israeli hostages released on November 29, 2023: Top L-R: Raz Ben Ami, Yarden Roman, Liat Atzili, Moran Stela Yanai; middle: Liam Or, Itay Regev, Ofir Engel, Amit Shani; bottom: Gali Tarshansky, Raaya Rotem, Yelena Trupanov, and her mother Irena Tati. (Courtesy: combination image/Times of Israel)
    Israeli hostages released on November 29, 2023: Top L-R: Raz Ben Ami, Yarden Roman, Liat Atzili, Moran Stela Yanai; middle: Liam Or, Itay Regev, Ofir Engel, Amit Shani; bottom: Gali Tarshansky, Raaya Rotem, Yelena Trupanov, and her mother Irena Tati. (Courtesy: combination image/Times of Israel)
  • Raaya Rotem pictured in Egypt after her release from Hamas captivity in Gaza, November 29, 2023 (Screenshot)
    Raaya Rotem pictured in Egypt after her release from Hamas captivity in Gaza, November 29, 2023 (Screenshot)
  • Freed Israeli hostage Itay Regev pictured in Egypt after his release from Hamas captivity in Gaza, November 29, 2023 (Screenshot)
    Freed Israeli hostage Itay Regev pictured in Egypt after his release from Hamas captivity in Gaza, November 29, 2023 (Screenshot)
  • Freed Israeli hostages pictured in Egypt after their release from Hamas captivity in Gaza, November 29, 2023 (Screenshot)
    Freed Israeli hostages pictured in Egypt after their release from Hamas captivity in Gaza, November 29, 2023 (Screenshot)
  • Israelis hold photographs of the Bibas family at a press conference calling for the release of 10 month old Kfir, 4 year old Ariel, and their parents Shiri and Yarden. at "Hostages Square" in Tel Aviv, November 28, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
    Israelis hold photographs of the Bibas family at a press conference calling for the release of 10 month old Kfir, 4 year old Ariel, and their parents Shiri and Yarden. at "Hostages Square" in Tel Aviv, November 28, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
  • Yelena Trupanov (right) and her mother Irena Tati photographed in Egypt after their release from Hamas captivity on November 29, 2023 (Used in accordance of Clause 27a of the Copyright Law))
    Yelena Trupanov (right) and her mother Irena Tati photographed in Egypt after their release from Hamas captivity on November 29, 2023 (Used in accordance of Clause 27a of the Copyright Law))

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

Israeli health minister slams Red Cross’s conduct over hostage issue

Israeli Health Minister Uriel Busso pans the Red Cross organization, which has been handling the transfer of released hostages from Gaza to Israel via Egypt, over its lack of efforts to secure access to hostages held by Hamas and gain information on their wellbeing.

In an overnight post in Hebrew on X, Busso says the organization “refuses and neglects with complete insensitivity to transfer and make available information to Magen David Adom on the safety of the hostages.”

“It is time to speak with a clear voice, Hamas is a terrorist organization that slaughtered and kidnapped children women, children and elderly people…We need an organization that will protect and give hope to the families of the hostages, and provide medical information. Any other conduct is acceptance and support for terror.”

Freed hostage Amit Shani’s grandma: ‘I didn’t believe we’d get to this moment’

Simcha Shani, grandmother of Amit Shani, hugs her grandson’s other grandparents Musa and Dahlia Weissman after receiving news that Amit has been released from captivity in Gaza, November 30, 2023. (Jeremy Sharon/The Times of Israel)
Simcha Shani, grandmother of Amit Shani, hugs her grandson’s other grandparents Musa and Dahlia Weissman after receiving news that Amit has been released from captivity in Gaza, November 30, 2023. (Jeremy Sharon/The Times of Israel)

Simcha Shani, grandmother of Amit Shani who was released from captivity in Gaza, says she is “so happy” to see her grandson coming back to Israel, but was worried this day would never come.

“I didn’t believe we’d get to this moment. I was so happy when I was told last night that Amit was coming home and I’m really impatient to see him now,” she says after hearing the news together with dozens of Kibbutz Be’eri members at the David Hotel at the Dead Sea where they have been evacuated.

“The last 53 days were very difficult. Every day was so sad. At the beginning, there was no talk even of negotiations. We were so worried, because he’s a very sensitive kid, he’s delicate and sweet.

“We didn’t know how he could survive something like this, and today I think to myself ‘What has he gone through mentally, where will he be?’”

10 Israeli, 4 Thai hostages back in Israel after release from Hamas in Gaza

Freed Israeli hostages pictured in Egypt after their release from Hamas captivity in Gaza, November 29, 2023 (Screenshot)
Freed Israeli hostages pictured in Egypt after their release from Hamas captivity in Gaza, November 29, 2023 (Screenshot)

The 10 Israeli, and 4 Thai hostages are back in Israel after their release tonight from 54 days of Hamas captivity in Gaza.

The military says they 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.”

Earlier, two Russian-Israeli hostages were released by Hamas.

Army says 14 hostages have crossed into Egypt from Gaza before returning to Israel

A man opens the way to a Red Cross vehicle at the Rafah crossing with Egypt, during the release of hostages on November 29, 2023. (AFP)
A man opens the way to a Red Cross vehicle at the Rafah crossing with Egypt, during the release of hostages on November 29, 2023. (AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces says 14 hostages released by Hamas this evening — 10 Israelis and four Thai nationals — have been transferred by the Red Cross from the Gaza Strip to Egypt, via the Rafah crossing.

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

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

Qatar says Israel to release 16 Palestinian minors and 14 women from prison

In exchange for the release of Israeli hostages by Hamas, Israel will free 30 Palestinian prisoners this evening.

A spokesman for Qatar’s foreign ministry says the Palestinians include 16 minors and 14 women.

Be’eri residents erupt in joy as they hear 6 kidnapped kibbutz members now heading home

Cheers and applause erupt at the David Hotel at the Dead Sea, where members of Kibbutz Be’eri are currently staying, over the news that 10 Israeli hostages — including six Be’eri residents — are now on their way back home.

Those watching the news broadcast on a giant screen in the hotel lounge hug and whoop at the news. The cheers grow even louder after Simcha Shani, the grandmother of 16-year-old Amit Shani, who was among those released, says how excited she is to see her grandson once again.

As the names of the six members of the kibbutz being freed are read out, they get a huge round of applause, with an especially loud cheer for Raaya Rotem, who was separated from her young daughter Hila when the latter was released earlier this week.

IDF says Hamas has transferred 10 Israeli, 4 Thai hostages to Red Cross

Israeli hostages released on November 29, 2023: Top L-R: Raz Ben Ami, Yarden Roman, Liat Atzili, Moran Stela Yanai; middle: Liam Or, Itay Regev, Ofir Engel, Amit Shani; bottom: Gali Tarshansky, Raaya Rotem, Yelena Trupanov, and her mother Irena Tati. (Courtesy: combination image/Times of Israel)
Israeli hostages released on November 29, 2023: Top L-R: Raz Ben Ami, Yarden Roman, Liat Atzili, Moran Stela Yanai; middle: Liam Or, Itay Regev, Ofir Engel, Amit Shani; bottom: Gali Tarshansky, Raaya Rotem, Yelena Trupanov, and her mother Irena Tati. (Courtesy: combination image/Times of Israel)

The Israel Defense Forces confirms Hamas has handed over 14 hostages — 10 Israelis and four Thai nationals — to the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip, ahead of their transfer to Israel.

Earlier, Hamas released two dual Russian-Israeli citizens, Yelena Trupanov, and her mother Irena Tati, as part of a gesture to Russian President Vladimir Putin, unrelated to the deal with Israel. The two were brought to Sheba Medical Center following their return to Israel.

The 10 Israelis released this evening are Raz Ben Ami, 56, Yarden Roman, 35, Liat Atzili, 49, Moran Stela Yanai, 40, Liam Or, 18, Itay Regev, 18, Ofir Engel, 17, Amit Shani, 15, Gali Tarshansky, 13, and Raaya Rotem, 54.

War cabinet said set to meet, as tonight’s release of 10 Israeli hostages delayed

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a meeting of the war cabinet in Tel Aviv on November 16, 2023. (Haim Zach/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a meeting of the war cabinet in Tel Aviv on November 16, 2023. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Israel’s war cabinet is set to meet shortly, Channel 12 reports, with ministers to discuss the issue of extending the current pause in fighting.

The current truce provides for 10 more Israeli hostages to be freed tonight. However, the release of the 10 has been delayed. Several Hebrew media outlets are citing unnamed Israeli sources saying that the delay is “technical,” but there is no official confirmation of this.

Israel is widely reported to have insisted that all women and children be released in the framework of the current deal, which provided for 50 Israelis to be freed in the first four days of the truce, and for an extra day’s pause for each additional 10 Israeli hostages freed.

Fifty hostages were indeed released Friday-Monday, and 10 more were freed last night.

Herzog to attend UN climate confab as part of efforts to secure release of more hostages

President Isaac Herzog speaks to the nation, October 8, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
President Isaac Herzog speaks to the nation, October 8, 2023. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

President Isaac Herzog will attend the COP28 climate conference in Dubai later this week in order to hold sideline meetings with world leaders aimed at advancing the release of the remaining hostages in Gaza, his office announces.

“The purpose of these meetings is to reveal to world leaders in a clear and profound manner the atrocities committed by the Hamas terror organization during the horrific massacre on October 7 and to emphasize the essential security threat that led to Israel’s forced entry into the war,” Herzog’s office says.

Herzog will also use the meetings to highlight the steps Israel is taking to mitigate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza as it readies to continue its war against Hamas once the ongoing truce concludes.

Iranian FM says messages exchanged with US on not wanting Israel-Hamas war to escalate

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian listens to a question in a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad in Tehran, Iran, July 31, 2023. (Vahid Salemi/AP)
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian listens to a question in a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad in Tehran, Iran, July 31, 2023. (Vahid Salemi/AP)

WASHINGTON — The United States and Iran have exchanged multiple messages since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war saying that neither side is interested in escalating the conflict, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian tells The New York Times in an interview.

“We understand the US does not want the war to spread, but we think the US wants the war to intensify,” the top Iranian diplomat says. “If the US continues its military, political and financial support of Israel and helps manage Israel’s military attacks on Palestinian civilians, then it must face its consequences.”

US officials say they have yet to come across intelligence indicating that Iran was directly involved in the October 7 massacres led by Hamas. However, other Iran-backed proxies have launched dozens of missiles at US forces in Iraq and Syria in recent weeks, leading to several American counterstrikes.

The strikes by Iran-backed groups have subsided since the truce between Israel and Hamas went into effect last Friday — as have the numerous projectiles fired at Israel by Iran’s chief benefactor, Hezbollah. The Lebanese terror group has refrained from fully entering the war, in another possible indicator that Iran isn’t looking for the war to escalate further.

Senior Hamas figure: ‘Efforts to extend truce have not yet matured’

Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan speaks during a rally organized by Lebanon's Hezbollah terror group to express solidarity with the Palestinian people, in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan speaks during a rally organized by Lebanon's Hezbollah terror group to express solidarity with the Palestinian people, in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official in Lebanon, says no agreement has yet been reached to extend the temporary ceasefire in Gaza and that the terror group does not find Israel’s offer worth considering.

“Efforts to extend the truce have not yet matured, and as for the offer that has been made to us to extend the truce, we do not find it worthy to study,” Hamdan tells the Hezbollah-affiliated news outlet Al-Madayeen.

The truce, which was initially slated to end Monday before a two-day extension, is due to expire tomorrow morning if no agreement is reached to further extend it.

Biden discusses Israel-Hamas war with UAE leader

US President Joe Biden meets with Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Saturday, July 16, 2022, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
US President Joe Biden meets with Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Saturday, July 16, 2022, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

US President Joe Biden discussed the Israel-Hamas war during a phone call earlier today with United Arab Emirates President Mohamed bin Zayed, the White House says.

“The two leaders discussed the situation in the Middle East region and welcomed the recent hostage deal and humanitarian pause, which has enabled a surge in assistance to the people of Gaza,” according to a US readout, which adds that Biden “reiterated the steadfast US commitment to peace and security in the Middle East region.”

The readout says Biden and MBZ also discussed bilateral ties and the upcoming COP28 climate summit in Dubai, which US Vice President Kamala Harris will attend on behalf of the administration.

PM to southern council heads: Hamas will be destroyed. I won’t let Sinwar emerge to flash a ‘V’ sign

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, lays the foundation stone for a new community, Ofir, as he meets with municipal leaders of communities close to the Gaza Strip, November 29, 2023. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, lays the foundation stone for a new community, Ofir, as he meets with municipal leaders of communities close to the Gaza Strip, November 29, 2023. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

In a recording from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s just-ended meeting with heads of local councils in areas where Hamas-led terrorists carried out their massacres on October 7, Netanyahu is heard saying that “the price of agreeing to end the fighting is that you leave Hamas there, that [Yahya]  Sinwar emerges from the rubble and flashes a “V” sign. I won’t agree to that.”

Netanyahu says Sinwar initially wanted to release only two Israeli hostages and seven Thais, and was rejected. Later Sinwar offered 50, for a five-day truce, before the current deal was agreed, the prime minister says.

A participant is then heard saying that “this is the worst breach [of faith] we’ve ever had, including with the [national] leadership… We screamed about it all,” she says in reference to Hamas’s overt preparations for the onslaught. “And we were always told, ‘Hamas is deterred.’ We believed. We believed you,” she laments. “How is security and the sense of security to be restored?” she asks.

“First of all, through the destruction of Hamas,” says Netanyahu. “And second, by ensuring that no other group of its kind will take control of Gaza.”

He says Israel will maintain overall security control of the Strip and that he has told this to President Biden, while also stressing his appreciation for the president for his help in returning hostages.

Family of freed hostage reportedly rejects Netanyahu’s request to meet

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)

The family of freed hostage Elma Avraham has refused a request from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with him during his expected visit to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, according to Hebrew media reports.

Avraham, a 84-year-old resident of Kibbutz Nahal Oz, was returned in critical condition after Hamas failed to supply her with vital daily medications for some 50 days. Soroka has said there is no longer a danger to her life as she continues to recuperate at the hospital.

Released Thai hostage says Israelis held with him were beaten with electric cables

A Thai foreign worker who was released in recent days from Hamas captivity is quoted by Channel 12 news saying that Israeli hostages with whom he was held were beaten by their captors, including with electric cables.

He says there was little to eat for the hostages — a pita a day, sometimes a tin of tuna to share between four, and sometimes a piece of cheese. Held for more than seven weeks, he says they were allowed to shower once.

“We were with Israelis, and they were guarded all the time,” he is quoted saying. “The Jews who were held with me were treated very harshly, sometimes they were beaten with electric cables.”

 

US warship in Red Sea downs Iranian-made drone launched from Yemen

WASHINGTON — A US Navy warship sailing near the Bab-el-Mandeb strait shot down a drone launched from Yemen, a US official says, in the latest in a string of threats from Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

The official says according to initial reports, USS Carney, a Navy destroyer, deemed the drone — an Iranian-made KAS-04 — to be a threat and shot it down over water in the southern Red Sea as the ship was moving toward the strait. The official speaks on condition of anonymity to discuss a military operation not yet made public.

Today’s shootdown comes a day after a Iranian drone flew within 1,500 yards of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier as it was conducting flight operations in international waters in the Arabian Gulf.

Navy Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of US Naval Forces Central Command, said the drone “violated safety precautions” by not staying more than 10 nautical miles from the ship. The drone ignored multiple warnings but eventually turned away.

Earlier this month, another Navy destroyer, the USS Thomas Hudner, shot down a drone that was heading toward the ship as it sailed in the southern Red Sea. It also was near the Bab-el-Mandeb strait and it shot down the drone over the water.

3 Gazan gunmen killed by troops after violating ceasefire — IDF

Illustrative: Israeli troops patrol on the southern border with the Gaza Strip on November 29, 2023. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)
Illustrative: Israeli troops patrol on the southern border with the Gaza Strip on November 29, 2023. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says troops killed three Palestinian gunmen in the Gaza Strip today, after they had “violated the ceasefire and were a threat to our forces.”

“Troops will continue to operate against any threat,” he says.

Military spokesman: Latest release of hostages still underway; 159 hostages currently in Gaza

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari speaks to the press at the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023. (Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP)
IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari speaks to the press at the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023. (Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP)

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says the hostage deal being carried out tonight is still underway, with 10 more Israeli hostages due to be released by Hamas.

“We are continuing to progress this evening with the deal to return the hostages, as agreed upon,” Hagari says.

He says there are currently 159 hostages being held in the Gaza Strip.

17 Thais set to return home after being held hostage by Hamas

This handout photo distributed on November 29, 2023, shows Thai hostages after they were released by Hamas at Shamir Medical Center in Be'er Yaakov. (Shamir Medical Center)
This handout photo distributed on November 29, 2023, shows Thai hostages after they were released by Hamas at Shamir Medical Center in Be'er Yaakov. (Shamir Medical Center)

Seventeen Thai citizens who were recently released after being taken hostage by Hamas on October 7 are heading home to Thailand.

As they depart Shamir Medical Center for Ben Gurion Airport, they are given a celebratory send-off by the medical staff who cared for them since they returned to Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Army confirms 2 hostages back in Israel; Hamas video shows stage-managed handover to Red Cross

Yelena Trupanov (right) and her mother Irena Tati photographed in Egypt after their release from Hamas captivity on November 29, 2023 (Used in accordance of Clause 27a of the Copyright Law))
Yelena Trupanov (right) and her mother Irena Tati photographed in Egypt after their release from Hamas captivity on November 29, 2023 (Used in accordance of Clause 27a of the Copyright Law))

The Israel Defense Forces says Yelena Trupanov and her mother Irena Tati, the two Russian-Israeli hostages 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.

Video released by Hamas shows stage-managed, chaotic scenes from their handover to the Red Cross.

IDF says 2 hostages transported by Red Cross to Egypt ahead of return to Israel

Yelena Trupanov, 50 and her mother Irena Tati, 73 are transferred by armed Hamas operatives to a Red Cross ambulance in the Gaza Strip ahead of their return to Israel, November 29, 2023. The two Russian-Israeli women were released by Hamas as a gesture to Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Screenshot)
Yelena Trupanov, 50 and her mother Irena Tati, 73 are transferred by armed Hamas operatives to a Red Cross ambulance in the Gaza Strip ahead of their return to Israel, November 29, 2023. The two Russian-Israeli women were released by Hamas as a gesture to Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Screenshot)

The Israel Defense Forces says the two Russian-Israeli hostages, Yelena Trupanov and her mother Irena Tati, 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 army says.

Released Russian-Israeli hostages identified as Yelena Trupanov and her mother Irena Tati

Yelena Trupanov, 50, is seen in a Red Cross ambulance in the Gaza Strip ahead of her return to Israel along with her mother Irena Tati, 73, November 29, 2023. The two Russian-Israeli women were released by Hamas as a gesture to Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Screenshot)
Yelena Trupanov, 50, is seen in a Red Cross ambulance in the Gaza Strip ahead of her return to Israel along with her mother Irena Tati, 73, November 29, 2023. The two Russian-Israeli women were released by Hamas as a gesture to Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Screenshot)

Video from the Gaza Strip shows a Red Cross vehicle transporting Yelena Trupanov, 50, and her mother Irena Tati, 73, after they were released by Hamas in what the terror group called a “gesture” to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trupanob and Tati, who have dual Israeli and Russian citizenship, were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz during the Hamas-led onslaught in southern Israel on October 7.

Yelena’s husband, Vitaly, was killed during the attack while her son Sasha and his girlfriend Sapir Cohen are still hostages.

Man whose parents were slain by Hamas calls for hostages to be returned ‘as quickly as possible’

Omer Waiss, his wife Zemer, and two-year old son Amit await news of the release of hostages from Kibbutz Be’eri, November 29, 2023. (Jeremy Sharon/Times of Israel)
Omer Waiss, his wife Zemer, and two-year old son Amit await news of the release of hostages from Kibbutz Be’eri, November 29, 2023. (Jeremy Sharon/Times of Israel)

Omer Waiss, whose parents Yehudit and Shmuel Waiss were both slain by Hamas, says the mistreatment of Israeli hostages held in Gaza by the terror group means they need to be brought home “as quickly as possible” to ensure their well-being.

“We are very worried, we know time is against the hostages because neither the Red Cross nor anyone else is taking care of them, no one is seeing them, they’re not getting enough food, they’re not being treated properly, there are elderly people there and they’re not getting what they need, they don’t see the light of day,” says Waiss.

He describes Hamas as “despicable monsters” and “sub-humans” for the crimes they committed on October 7 and against the hostages, describing the weeks since then as “one long nightmare.”

Waiss’s father Shmuel was murdered on October 7 and his mother Yehudit was taken captive. Waiss says the family believes Yehudit was taken alive, but her body was discovered during the IDF ground invasion close to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

“It is impossible come to terms with the fact that I am now an orphan, that I will never see my parents again or friends that I love.”

IDF says Hamas transferred 2 Israeli hostages with Russian citizenship to Red Cross

Illustrative: Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists stand guard as a Red Cross vehicle transports newly released hostages in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 28, 2023. (Flash90)
Illustrative: Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists stand guard as a Red Cross vehicle transports newly released hostages in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on November 28, 2023. (Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces confirms Hamas has handed over two dual Russian-Israeli citizens to the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip.

“According to the information provided by the Red Cross, two Israeli hostages were transferred to them and are on their way to Israeli territory,” it says in a short statement.

Hamas said earlier that the release of the two women was a gesture to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Another 10 Israeli hostages are due to be handed over to the Red Cross tonight.

Gantz: Israel seeking ‘to make the most’ of hostage release deal but ready for war to resume

Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks during a press conference on November 29, 2023. (Facebook screen capture, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks during a press conference on November 29, 2023. (Facebook screen capture, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Minister Benny Gantz says that Israel will continue to try to “make the most” of its hostage deal framework with Hamas but is ready to renew the fight at a moment’s notice, hours before the deal is set to expire.

Hamas said earlier today that it’s open to extending the truce, now in its sixth day, and an Israeli official said talks to do so are ongoing.

“We are in complex moment, with a time window within the framework of the deal to return our kidnapped. We will work to make the most of it as much as possible,” Gantz says in remarks to the press. “At the same time, we are prepared and ready to return to fighting, at any given moment, including this moment.”

The war cabinet minister say that Israel is fighting its “most important war” since the 1948 War of Independence.

Vowing Israel will give Hamas no quarter, Gantz says the war will continue until residents of Israeli border communities that were evacuated amid the the fighting “can safely return” to their homes.

Top Biden aide calls for Red Cross to visit hostages in Gaza

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan speaks during the daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on November 13, 2023. (SAUL LOEB / AFP)
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan speaks during the daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on November 13, 2023. (SAUL LOEB / AFP)

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stressed the need for the Red Cross to visit the remaining hostages in Gaza during a call yesterday with ICRC president Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, the White House says.

The US readout does not go as far as Sullivan did on Sunday, when he backed Israel’s claim that Red Cross visits to the remaining hostages were a stipulation of the ongoing truce between Israel and Hamas.

Hamas has not commented on the clause and the sides have yet to publicize the agreement itself.

Jerusalem kibbutz awaits expected release of resident taken hostage on October 7

Members of Kibbutz Ramat Rachel await the expected release of a resident who was taken hostage in the Hamas onslaught on October 7, on November 29, 2023. (Iddo Schejter/Times of Israel)
Members of Kibbutz Ramat Rachel await the expected release of a resident who was taken hostage in the Hamas onslaught on October 7, on November 29, 2023. (Iddo Schejter/Times of Israel)

Members of Kibbutz Ramat Rachel in Jerusalem await the expected release of a resident who was kidnapped by Hamas on October 7 while visiting his girlfriend in Kibbutz Be’eri near the Gaza border.

Tensions in the room are high as dozens of kibbutz members and friends of the hostage’s family gather inside the local community center to watch a live screening of his expected release.

Meeting security chiefs, Gallant says IDF ‘ready for immediate renewal of fighting’

In this handout photo, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets with IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Mossad chief David Barnea and Shin Bet head Ronen Bar on November 29, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)
In this handout photo, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets with IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Mossad chief David Barnea and Shin Bet head Ronen Bar on November 29, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant holds a “special situational assessment” with the heads of the military, Mossad and Shin Bet about the efforts to return Israelis held hostage by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, his office says.

“We are making every effort to return the hostages and to fully complete the current process for returning all the abducted woman and children in Gaza,” Gallant says in a statement.

He adds: “IDF forces in the air, sea and ground are ready for an immediate renewal of the fighting.”

Bibas family says hoping IDF will refute Hamas claim that Shira and two sons were killed

Israeli protesters call for the release of the Bibas family, whose members are being held hostage in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas terror group, in Tel Aviv, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023. The family's 10-month-old son Kfir is the youngest hostage in Hamas captivity. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Israeli protesters call for the release of the Bibas family, whose members are being held hostage in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas terror group, in Tel Aviv, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023. The family's 10-month-old son Kfir is the youngest hostage in Hamas captivity. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

The Bibas family says it has been informed of Hamas’s claim that three members of the family — mother Shiri and sons Ariel, 4, and Kfir, 10 months — taken hostage by the terror group were killed.

“We are waiting for the information to be confirmed and hopefully refuted by military officials,” the family says in a statement. “We thank the people of Israel for their warm support, but kindly request privacy during this difficult time.”

‘Ready for the next stage’: IDF chief okays battle plans in Gaza for after ceasefire

This handout photo shows IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi (center) holding an assessment with the head of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman (right), and head of the IDF Operations Directorate, Maj. Gen. Oded Basiuk, at the Southern Command in Beersheba, November 29, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
This handout photo shows IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi (center) holding an assessment with the head of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman (right), and head of the IDF Operations Directorate, Maj. Gen. Oded Basiuk, at the Southern Command in Beersheba, November 29, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi approves battle plans for after the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, during a meeting at the Southern Command headquarters in Beersheba today, the military says.

“We know what needs to be done, and are ready for the next stage,” Halevi says in remarks provided by the IDF.

Be’eri residents gather for slated release of neighbors taken hostage by Hamas

Racheli Benacot and her daughter Geva at the David Hotel in Ein Boqek, November 29, 2023 (Jeremy Sharon/The Times of Israel)
Racheli Benacot and her daughter Geva at the David Hotel in Ein Boqek, November 29, 2023 (Jeremy Sharon/The Times of Israel)

Be’eri residents gather in the lounge of the David Hotel by the Dead Sea where they have been evacuated, to watch a live broadcast of the release of hostages from the kibbutz who were kidnapped by Hamas during the October 7 atrocities.

Racheli Benacot, whose sister was murdered during the onslaught and whose brother was killed fighting Hamas terrorists who invaded the kibbutz, says she and the Be’eri community are “incredibly happy” that some of the hostages are being released tonight.

But she says that happiness is marred by sadness “for those who are no longer, and for those still in Gaza” who they are still waiting, hoping and expecting to come home.

“This is a deal with Satan,” she says of the hostage release agreement with Hamas.

“None of the southern towns could go back, it would mean giving up on our home, our roots, our history, giving up on part of the country, it would be to give up on Zionism.”

Shiri Bibas’s cousin: We hold Hamas solely responsible for returning the family alive

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

Jimmy Miller, a cousin of Shiri Bibas, says the family holds Hamas responsible for the well-being of the family, after Hamas claimed earlier today that Shiri, four-year-old Ariel and baby Kfir are dead.

The IDF says it is examining the veracity of Hamas’s claim, which asserted that the three were killed in an IDF bombardment. The claim has not been independently verified and Gaza terrorists have made previous false claims about the ostensible deaths of hostages.

“The IDF has updated us about this information,” Miller tells Channel 12 regarding the Hamas claim.

“Hamas abducted them alive. Hamas is solely responsible for their well-being. Hamas must return them to us alive. We’re not interested in whether they transferred them to somebody else or to some other group. Hamas is solely responsible for returning them to us alive, healthy and intact… Make no mistake.”

He also cites Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar as responsible for their well-being.

He says the family “are waiting for an official announcement” from the IDF as to whether “it’s true or not, or another kind of trick that Hamas is playing on us.”

Jimmy Miller, cousin of Shiri Bibas, speaks to Channel 12 news, November 29, 2023 (screenshot)

He stresses that the family has seen the video of Shiri and her two sons being abducted alive from Kibbutz Nir Oz, “and we have absolutely no doubt that they reached Gaza alive. And we want to see them back here alive, the sooner the better.”

Miller also notes that father Yarden was abducted separately to Gaza, taken on a motorbike, and seen in video being beaten on the head with hammers en route.

“We are not sure that they reached Gaza together; we think [the terrorists] separated them,” he adds.

He says the family gets up every morning hoping they will be returned in each day’s releases, and have been terribly disappointed that they have not been.

 

Israel wants all children and women freed before discussing broader hostage deal

Photographs of people who were abducted during the devastating Hamas-led terror attack on southern Israel are fixed to a wall in Tel Aviv, October 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)
Photographs of people who were abducted during the devastating Hamas-led terror attack on southern Israel are fixed to a wall in Tel Aviv, October 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

Israel will push for all children and civilian women hostages to be released as part of the current ceasefire deal with Hamas before broadening negotiations to free adult male and soldier hostages, says an official from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“We have an agreement, the agreement concerns kids and women. We know the names of all the kids and all the women that are in the Gaza Strip. We don’t accept this suggestion that Hamas doesn’t know where they are…that it would have trouble finding them,” the official says.

Israel “won’t abandon 27 people in order to discuss a new agreement that would also be violated in the same way,” the official says, referring to abducted Israelis who have yet to be released. Hamas is reportedly willing to further extend the ceasefire, now in its sixth day and set to expire tomorrow morning.

If Hamas can release all the remaining women and children, “we’ll be more than eager to discuss the other groups that are still there,” the official adds.

The official also dismisses reports of an all-for-all deal, whereby Israel would release all Palestinian security prisoners in exchange for the remaining hostages and an end to the war.

“We are not aware of such a possibility. We are doubtful that there is such an offer,” the official says.

Germany arrests teen for planning terror attack; synagogue said to be among possible targets

Illustrative: German police officers at Herrmannplatz, Berlin on October 11, 2023. (John MACDOUGALL / AFP)
Illustrative: German police officers at Herrmannplatz, Berlin on October 11, 2023. (John MACDOUGALL / AFP)

BERLIN — A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in Germany on suspicion of planning and preparing a terror attack, authorities announce today.

Prosecutors in Duesseldorf say the teenager was detained yesterday during a search at his home. A court in nearby Leverkusen ordered him kept in custody pending a possible indictment, they say in a statement. The prosecutors say they cannot give additional details for now.

German news agency dpa, which cites unidentified security sources, reportes that the 15-year-old and a 16-year-old in the eastern German state of Brandenburg were arrested after allegedly discussing carrying outan attack on “infidels.”

The younger suspect allegedly named a synagogue and a Christmas market as possible targets, dpa says. It’s not immediately clear how serious the alleged plans were.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency said earlier today that the threat situation in the country has escalated following Hamas’ October 7 attack in southern Israel.

The agency pointed to the risk of a radicalization of lone assailants who use simple means to attack “soft targets,” adding that “the danger is real and higher than it has been for a long time.”

US sanctions Iranian financial network that supports Hamas and Hezbollah

WASHINGTON — The US Treasury Department announces another series of sanctions against 20 individuals and entities involved in a financial network benefiting Iran’s defense ministry, military and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force.

“Iran’s commodity sales, carried out through a network of foreign-based front companies, provide revenue that helps the regime to continue its support for terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. Iranian military entities and their business partners enable these sales and exploit the international financial system to recoup the revenue,” the State Department says in a statement.

“The Iranian regime uses this illicit revenue to support conflict and spread terror throughout the Middle East. The United States will continue to disrupt Iran’s funding support for terrorists,” the statement adds.

In first, UN chief calls for investigation of sexual violence during October 7 onslaught

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)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for the first time urges that allegations of sexual violence committed during the October 7 massacres be investigated.

“There are also numerous accounts of sexual violence during the attacks that must be vigorously investigated and prosecuted,” Guterres says during a briefing to the UN Security Council. “Gender-based violence must be condemned. Anytime. Anywhere.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry tore into the UN office for women’s issues last week for taking 50 days to comment on the evidence of sexual violence perpetrated during Hamas’s onslaught last month, only to issue a brief statement expressing “alarm” on the matter.

On Instagram, UN Women posted a condemnation of Hamas before deleting it shortly later and replacing it with a call to release all hostages in Gaza.

Qatar: ‘We are moving toward civilian men being released’

Qatar Foreign Ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari (video screenshot)
Qatar Foreign Ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari (video screenshot)

Qatar’s foreign ministry says talks are “moving toward” an agreement for Hamas to release Israeli men that the terror group took hostage on October 7.

“Our negotiations regarding women and children take paramount position within the discussions, but obviously we are moving toward civilian men being released,” ministry spokesman Majed Al-Ansari tells CNN.

He also says negotiations are being held on the potential release of abducted Israeli soldiers and the prospect of a “longer truce” that could “lead to a ceasefire.”

Hamas says it released 2 Israelis with Russian citizenship in gesture to Putin

Illustrative: 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. (Photo by AFP)
Illustrative: 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. (Photo by AFP)

The Hamas terror group says in a short statement that it has released two hostages with Russian citizenship.

The pair, who also have Israeli citizenship, are being handed over to the Red Cross.

Hamas says it is releasing them as a gesture to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Another 10 Israelis being held in Gaza are due to be released by Hamas this evening.

UN chief calls for ‘true humanitarian ceasefire’ in Gaza

UNITED NATIONS — Gazans are “in the midst of an epic humanitarian catastrophe before the eyes of the world,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says today.

“Intense negotiations are taking place to prolong the truce -– which we strongly welcome — but we believe we need a true humanitarian ceasefire,” he says at a UN Security Council meeting.

IDF says checking ‘cruel’ Hamas claims regarding Bibas family hostages; Hamas said mother, two children killed

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 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 Israel Defense Forces says it has notified the Bibas family of a Hamas statement regarding three of the family members who are being held hostage by the terror group.

Hamas claimed earlier today, in an unverified statement, that mother Shiri, four-year-old Ariel and 10-month-old baby Kfir were killed.

“The Hamas terror organization continues to act in a cruel and inhumane manner,” the IDF says, adding that it is investigating the veracity of the information published by Hamas.

The Bibas family, including baby Kfir, was transferred by Hamas to another Palestinian terror group in Gaza, according to the IDF.

Kfir was kidnapped by Hamas from Kibbutz Nir Oz along with his brother Ariel and parents Yarden, 34, and Shiri, 32, when terrorists rampaged through southern communities on October 7.

The IDF says Hamas bears responsibility for the safety of all the hostages being held in the Gaza Strip, even those held by other factions.

“Hamas endangers the hostages, including nine children. Hamas is required to immediately return them to Israel,” the IDF says.

As Israel awaits 6th set of hostages, Netanyahu vows war will resume after truce

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in a video statement released by his office on November 29, 2023. (X screenshot. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in a video statement released by his office on November 29, 2023. (X screenshot. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Amid talks to extend the ceasefire in Gaza, Prime Minister Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists Israel will resume its military campaign to topple Hamas.

In a video statement, Netanyahu says the chief goals of the war are “eliminating” the Gaza-ruling terror group, bringing home all hostages taken in the October 7 massacres, and ensuring the enclave “never again returns to being a threat to Israel.”

Ahead of the expected release of a sixth group of hostages this evening, Netanyahu hails the return of abducted Israelis, which he says last week sounded “imaginary.”

“In recent days I’ve heard a question: Will Israel return to fighting after this stage of returning our hostages is over? My response is an unequivocal yes,” the premier says. “There is no way we won’t return to fighting until the end.”

Photos show Israeli hostages reuniting with families after being released

Meirav Tal embraces family members at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital after she was released as a hostage by the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group, November 28, 2023. (Courtesy)
Meirav Tal embraces family members at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital after she was released as a hostage by the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group, November 28, 2023. (Courtesy)

Newly released images show Israelis taken hostage in the October 7 onslaught reuniting with their families.

In photos from Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, Meirav Tal embraces loved ones following her release by Hamas yesterday.

Tal, 54, from Kibbutz Nir Oz, was abducted together with her partner Yair Yaakov, 59, the father of brothers Or Yaakov, 16, and Yagil Yaakov, 13. Or and Yagil were released Monday with nine other hostages, while Yair is still held in Gaza.

Other images show Ron Krivoi, who holds dual Russian-Israeli citizenship and was released at President Vladimir Putin’s request, hugging his parents after his release on Sunday.

Ron Krivoi embraces his parents at Sheba Medical enter in Ramat Gan after he was released as a hostage by the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group, November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)

Hospital says most child hostages in ‘reasonable’ physical health after being freed

An Israeli helicopter transporting newly released hostages, held since Hamas's October 7 attacks, lands outside Ramat Gan's Sheba medical center on November 28, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
An Israeli helicopter transporting newly released hostages, held since Hamas's October 7 attacks, lands outside Ramat Gan's Sheba medical center on November 28, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv provides an update on the former hostages currently being treated at the medical center.

Two women who arrived last night underwent a series of medical tests and psychological evaluations and have been found to be in stable physical condition. The women are still hospitalized and staff are attending to their medical and psychosocial needs.

“We also have children here who were freed from captivity and have been with us for the last 36 hours. They are in reasonable physical condition. They are undergoing a series of tests and evaluations,” says Prof. David Zeltser, deputy director of emergency medicine at Ichilov.

“The one exception is a girl who needed orthopedic intervention and underwent surgery last night. She has recovered from the surgery, is awake, has eaten, and is speaking with her family and friends,” he adds.

Zeltser appears to be referring to Yuval Engel, 11, from Nir Oz, who was released from captivity in a wheelchair and had a bandaged leg. Her mother Karina, 51, and sister Mika, 18, were also freed and transferred to Ichilov for treatment. The family’s father Ronen, 54, is still a hostage.

Without going into detail, Zeltser says although the children were in reasonable condition, they face various medical and psychosocial challenges that the hospital staff are addressing. Most of the children are expected to be discharged in the coming days and will continue to be cared for. Engel, who underwent orthopedic surgery, will stay longer and need physical rehabilitation.

Prof. Ronit Lubetzky, head of the pediatric department, says the children lost 10-17 percent of their body weight during their 50-plus-day captivity, adding that the hospital’s medical staff is working to reintroduce all key nutritional elements, including vitamins, into the children’s diets. This must be done in a way that avoids Refeeding Syndrome, whereby an undernourished person becomes critically or even fatally ill from receiving too much food and drink too quickly.

“We are putting together long-term optimal nutrition plans for the children and we will be following up on this regularly,” Lubetzky said.

Military says 2 senior terror operatives killed in West Bank operation

Israeli military vehicles patrol in the Jenin refugee camp, in the West Bank on November 29, 2023, during a military operation in the camp. (Zain JAAFAR / AFP)
Israeli military vehicles patrol in the Jenin refugee camp, in the West Bank on November 29, 2023, during a military operation in the camp. (Zain JAAFAR / AFP)

Border Police, the Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet say troops killed two senior terror operatives in the West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp.

Another two Palestinians were reported killed amid clashes in the area.

The joint statement says troops killed Muhammad Zubeidi, a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative in the Jenin camp who was responsible for several shooting attacks in the area, and Hussam Hanoun, another local operative.

The Shin Bet says Zubeidi was involved in a terror attack near the settlement of Hermesh in May, in which Meir Tamari was killed, and another attack in June, in which a civilian and four soldiers were wounded. It says Zubeidi was involved in planning the attacks and providing the car for the attacks.

The IDF and Border Police say that overnight, forces surrounded a building in the camp where Zubeidi and other operatives were holed up, and opened fire. The troops later entered the building and seized two assault rifles from the bodies of Zubeidi and Hanoun.

Separately, troops arrested 17 wanted Palestinians in the area, seized weapons, and located a tunnel shaft and a lathe for manufacturing guns, the IDF says.

Clashes erupted in the area amid the operation, with Palestinian gunmen opening fire at troops and others hurling explosive devices. The IDF says the troops returned fire, and carried out a drone strike against a group of gunmen in the area overnight.

According to the Palestinian Authority health ministry, a 15-year-old and 8-year-old were killed by Israeli fire as the operation continued today.

Freed hostage Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, says she met Sinwar in Gaza, asked him why he wasn’t ashamed of himself

Yocheved Lifshitz (center), who was freed in October from Hamas captivity, protests in Tel Aviv on November 28, 2023, alongside family members, for the release of the remaining hostages, including her husband, Oded. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Yocheved Lifshitz (center), who was freed in October from Hamas captivity, protests in Tel Aviv on November 28, 2023, alongside family members, for the release of the remaining hostages, including her husband, Oded. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, who was released from Hamas captivity last month, reveals in an interview that she met Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar during her time held in Gaza — and was not afraid to tell him what she thought.

“Sinwar was with us three-four days after we got there,” Lifshitz tells the Davar news outlet. “I asked him how he wasn’t ashamed, to do such a thing to people who for years support peace? He didn’t answer. He was quiet.”

Lifshitz turned out yesterday evening at a rally outside the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, calling for the release of her husband, Oded Lifshitz, 83, who is still held hostage in Gaza.

“I’m here to protest. To bring my Oded home,” Lifshitz told the news outlet. “We will keep protesting until all of the hostages are back.”

Palestinian protest icon Ahed Tamimi set to be released from jail today in deal for Gaza hostages

Men walk past a section of Israel's security barrier painted with a portrait of Palestinian detainee Ahed Tamimi, on November 6, 2023 in Bethlehem in the West Bank.(HAZEM BADER / AFP)
Men walk past a section of Israel's security barrier painted with a portrait of Palestinian detainee Ahed Tamimi, on November 6, 2023 in Bethlehem in the West Bank.(HAZEM BADER / AFP)

Prominent Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi is on the list of 30 Palestinian prisoners, all women and minors, slated to be released from Israeli jails today.

Tamimi was arrested some 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 at age 16 after she was jailed for slapping an Israeli soldier. 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.

So far, the terror group Hamas has released a total of 61 Israeli hostages and 20 foreign hostages during the five days of the temporary truce. The original deal stipulated that the pause in fighting could be extended up to a total of 10 days, including the first four — if Hamas releases at least 10 additional hostages each day, with Israel freeing more Palestinian inmates at a ratio of three prisoners for each hostage.

Israel has so far freed 180 female and underage Palestinians serving time in Israeli prisons for security offenses, and is expected to release 30 more today, including Tamimi.

Mom of Gaza hostage: Red Cross acting as ‘Uber service’ for the released, not visiting those held

A picture of Hersh Goldberg-Polin at a memorial for those killed and kidnapped from the Nova festival, November 28, 2023 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
A picture of Hersh Goldberg-Polin at a memorial for those killed and kidnapped from the Nova festival, November 28, 2023 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Rachel Goldberg, whose son, Hersh Goldberg-Polin, was taken hostage by Hamas terrorists at the Supernova desert rave on October 7, shares several new details at a press conference about her son’s abduction.

Her husband, Jon Polin, went to the field shelter for the first time this week, to see where Hersh and his friend, Aner Shapira, attempted to hide along with 27 others.

“Twenty-nine young people were smashed into this space,” says Goldberg, describing the “tiny concrete room.”

The Hamas terrorists first threw hand grenades, then an RPG and then used machine gun fire to kill as many people as possible in the shelter, says Goldberg. Shapira was killed by one of the grenades, after tossing back some seven of them.

Several people survived hiding under corpses and they saw that Hersh Goldberg-Polin’s arm was blown off from the elbow down, says Goldberg. This was confirmed in a video sent to Hersh’s parents by CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Goldberg adds that she and her husband have been told that hostages are more valuable if they’re alive, and the sense is that injured hostages were taken to hospitals.

“We know there are very capable physicians and surgeons in Gaza,” says Goldberg. “What has been explained to us is that although the injury looks horrible, it’s not a complicated surgery,” and would only involve the surgeon amputating above the jagged part of the limb.

“And then he would need antibiotics, which of course begs the question if that happened or is still happening,” says Goldberg.

Goldberg also speaks about the Red Cross, “doing a wonderful job being an Uber service” for the released hostages, but the hope had been that the international medical organization would see the hostages in captivity.

Goldberg says that seeing the first groups of hostages being released is “the first moment of respite and a sliver of light, a tiny, hopeful moment when we see these people being returned to their loved ones.”

She notes that they now know many of the families of the hostages.

“I know these mothers,” she says. “Obviously, I would love to see Hersh be one of those released. But he’s not a woman and he’s not a child.

“He’s my child, of course.”

Woman bereaved on Oct. 7 is released after being detained at anti-government protest

Ayelet Katzir, a leading figure in the Family’s Tent group of activists who lost family members in the October 7 Hamas massacres, is released from police detention, several hours after being detained at an anti-government protest outside the Knesset.

Several dozen people participated in the protest to demand that the government resign due to the military and intelligence failures that enabled Hamas to carry out its October 7 atrocities.

Katzir was detained and questioned at the Moriah Police Station in Jerusalem before being released.

Labor MK Naama Lazimi drove to the police station to protest Katzir’s arrest, describing it as “an embarrassing and outrageous arrest.”

The police said one woman was arrested for blocking the access road to the Knesset and ramming her sign into an MK’s car, Ynet reported.

Leaders of at least 2 devastated Gaza border towns say they won’t attend meeting with PM

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a press conference in Tel Aviv, Oct. 17, 2023. (AP/Maya Alleruzzo, Pool)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a press conference in Tel Aviv, Oct. 17, 2023. (AP/Maya Alleruzzo, Pool)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to meet with the leaders of communities close to the Gaza Strip that were devastated in the October 7 massacres, but at least two of the invited kibbutzim, Be’eri and Nir Oz, refuse to send representatives.

The communities criticize the premier for only meeting them now, nearly two months after the devastating assault, and for deciding to hold talks only with the kibbutz leadership rather than the whole communities.

Kibbutz Be’eri says it is not boycotting the meeting per se, but rather than attending it calls on the premier to visit the kibbutz, Channel 12 news reports.

“Should the prime minister wish to come to Kibbutz Be’eri, meet with the kibbutz management and the members of the kibbutz, see the atrocities committed on October 7 and have a conversation about the plans for the rehabilitation of Be’eri, we will always be happy to host him by prior arrangement and without a communications team,” the kibbutz says in a statement, according to the Walla news site.

“We suggest that the prime minister meet with the residents of the kibbutz, with everyone. With the children, parents, families who survived the terrible massacre of October 7,” says Osnat Peri, the secretary of Kibbutz Nir Oz.

“Not only the representatives of the communities need answers, but all of us. Not only me, but all of us deserve to know why a quarter of our kibbutz was kidnapped or murdered,” she says.

Invitations to the meeting with the premier were extended to the leadership of all communities situated within four kilometers from the Gaza Strip.

The charred interior of a building in the kibbutz Nir Oz along the border with the Gaza Strip can be seen on October 19, 2023, following the October 7 attack by Hamas terrorists. (Menahem KAHANA / AFP)

Arab Israeli woman objects to being on prisoner release list, says indictment without merit

At least one of the Arab Israeli women who were added to the list of prisoners who may be released under the terms of the hostage release agreement with Hamas strongly objects and says that neither she nor her family nor her attorney were informed that she was being put on the list.

The woman, who does not wish to be identified, has been indicted for expressing support and identifying with a terror organization, following comments she made on social media following October 7, but has yet to be tried and denies her comments violated the anti-terrorism laws leveled against her.

“Due to the opposition of my client to being included on the list, and due to the heavy concern of severe harm to her as a result of being released under such circumstances when she is still entitled to the presumption of innocence, I request that you clarify what the legal significance is of my client being included in this decision and what the implications are on the legal process which is pending against her,” an attorney from the Adalah legal aid organization writes in a letter to State Attorney Amit Aisman and Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara.

Twenty-five Arab-Israeli citizens were added to the list of prisoners who may be released under the terms of the deal with Hamas earlier this week, 16 of whom were women who have been charged but not tried on counts of expressing support for terrorism in social media posts.

9 Israeli children have been held hostage in Gaza for 54 days

Israelis hold photographs of the Bibas family, and orange balloons to represent the redheaded children, at a press conference calling for the release of 10-month-old Kfir, 4-year-old Ariel, and their parents Shiri and Yarden Bibas, at 'Hostage Square' in Tel Aviv, November 28, 2023 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Israelis hold photographs of the Bibas family, and orange balloons to represent the redheaded children, at a press conference calling for the release of 10-month-old Kfir, 4-year-old Ariel, and their parents Shiri and Yarden Bibas, at 'Hostage Square' in Tel Aviv, November 28, 2023 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Thirty-one children held by Gazan terrorists have been released as part of a temporary ceasefire deal with Hamas, but after 54 days, 9 still remain in the Strip.

These are the children who have been held hostage by the terror group since October 7:

Kfir Bibas, 10 months, and Ariel Bibas, 4

Kfir, the youngest hostage in Gaza, was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz along with his brother Ariel and parents, Yarden and Shiri.

Due to Kfir’s extraordinarily young age, the redheaded children have become some of the most recognizable among the hostages.

The family was kidnapped by Hamas, but at some point was transferred to another Palestinian terror group in Gaza, the military said Monday.

On the day of their capture, a video circulated of Shiri holding her children in her arms, a look of terror on her face as she was surrounded by terrorists, her boys facing her chest, a blanket covering them.

There was also a video of Yarden, injured with blood on his head, surrounded by terrorists.

Gali Tarshansky, 13

Gali was kidnapped from Kibbutz Be’eri after her brother, Lior, 15, was killed.

The two were hiding in their safe room, along with their father Ilya, when terrorists broke into their home.

Gali and Ilya jumped out of the window and survived. The father was not taken captive and Lior’s body was identified later.

The two siblings were an inseparable pair, said family members in a video.

Amit Shani, 16

Amit was the only member of his family taken by Hamas terrorists on October 7 during the massacre in Kibbutz Be’eri.

He was kidnapped in front of his mother Tal, 47.

Amit and his neighbor, Yossi Sharabi, and Sharabi’s daughter’s visiting boyfriend, Ofir Engel, were all ordered into a black car.

Ofir Engel, 18

Ofir, kidnapped from Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7, had his birthday in Gaza.

Engel, a dual Dutch-Israeli citizen from Kibbutz Ramat Rachel adjacent to Jerusalem, was visiting his girlfriend.

Ofir was last in contact at around 12:30 p.m. when he told his family that he was hiding with the Sharabi family in their sealed room.

Hamas gunmen broke into the family’s sealed room and took everyone out, then they told the women to sit on the grass and shot the family dog.

Bilal Ziyadne, 18, and Aisha Ziyadne, 17

Bilal and Aisha were kidnapped while working in the cowshed at Kibbutz Holit, along with their father Youssef, 53, and older brother Hamza, 23.

The family lives in the Bedouin city of Rahat, in the Ziyadne neighborhood, named for their extensive family clan.

Wahid Ahoziil, a volunteer for the Center for the Missing and Captives in the Arab community, described the family as “simple people” who have worked for many years at local kibbutzim.

Liam Or, 18

Liam was captured along with his uncle Dror, 48, and his cousins, Noam, 17, and Alma, 13 from Kibbutz Be’eri.

Noam and Alma were released as part of the temporary truce on November 25.

Itay Regev, 18

Itay and his sister Maya, 21, were kidnapped from the Supernova music festival, a day after returning to Israel from abroad, where they had celebrated their mother’s birthday.

Maya was released on November 25 as part of the truce deal. She was shot on October 7, and she remains hospitalized after undergoing surgery.

Top CIA official posts photo of man waving Palestinian flag on Facebook

A top CIA official posted a pro-Palestine image on Facebook two weeks after Hamas attacked Israel, the Financial Times reports.

The associate deputy director for analysis made an image of a man waving a Palestinian flag her Facebook cover photo on October 21, which the newspaper said comes amid reports of some dissent over the war between Israel and Hamas among members of the Biden administration.

The FT says it is not naming the official, after the CIA said there was concern for her safety.

“The officer is a career analyst with extensive background in all aspects of the Middle East and this post [of the Palestinian flag] was not intended to express a position on the conflict,” a person familiar with the situation tells the newspaper.

The individual adds that the senior official in question has in the past made public statements against antisemitism.

WHO warns of deadly impact of spread of disease in Gaza Strip

Palestinians cook bread by their destroyed homes in Kuza' a Gaza Strip during the temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel on Nov. 29, 2023. AP Photo/Hatem Ali)
Palestinians cook bread by their destroyed homes in Kuza' a Gaza Strip during the temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel on Nov. 29, 2023. AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

The head of the World Health Organization warns that more people in the Gaza Strip could die from disease than in the fighting between Israel and the Hamas terror group.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s director-general, says there is a heightened risk of disease outbreaks because of overcrowded shelters and a lack of food, water, sanitation and medication.

He says 111,000 people are suffering from respiratory infections and 75,000 others from diarrhea, more than half of them under age 5.

“Given the living conditions and lack of health care, more people could die from disease than bombings,” he says, calling for a sustained ceasefire. “It’s a matter of life or death for civilians.” Israel has said that a long-term ceasefire is not an option until Hamas has been destroyed and all of the hostages seized by the terror group have been returned.

The war, which was trigged by a devastating attack by Gaza terrorists on southern Israel on Oct. 7, has displaced up to 1.8 million people in Gaza, or about 80% of the enclave’s population, according to UN figures.

Sister of Rimon Kirsht Buchshtav, released from Gaza yesterday, posts photos of moment they saw her again

The sister of Rimon Kirsht Buchshtav, 36, who was released from Gaza yesterday after she was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nirim on October 7, posts photos on Facebook of the moment they saw her again.

Kirsht Buchshtav was held hostage by terrorists in Gaza for 53 days.

“Part of the war is over – Rimon returned home! Healthy and whole!” writes Nili Kirsht-Levi. “Now we will continue to fight for the return of Yagev and the rest of the kidnapped!”

Rimon’s husband Yagev Buchshtav, 34, remains a hostage in Gaza. The couple met in high school and then reconnected years later, marrying in 2021.

They were hiding in the safe room of their Nirim home on the morning of October 7. Rimon texted her family that she saw fire and terrorists shooting outside “everywhere.”

She then sent her mother one last voice message — Rimon’s parents were also sheltering in a nearby community — “I love you, Mom. I’m so sorry I can’t be there with you. I love you.”

חלק מהמלחמה נגמר- רימון שבה הביתה! בריאה ושלמה!עכשיו נמשיך להילחם לחזרתו של יגב ושאר החטופים!!!!!!!!

Posted by Nil Kirsht-Levi on Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Hamas: 2 Russian citizens to be freed in gesture to Putin, in addition to 10 Israelis set to be released

Hamas will release two hostages with Russian citizenship in a gesture of “appreciation” for the position taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin, says a top official in the terror group.

It is unclear if the two also hold Israeli citizenship.

The announcement was made by Moussa Abu Marzouk, an official from the Hamas political wing, the Kan public broadcaster reports.

The release of the two Russian citizens will be in addition to the ten Israelis who are set to be released later today as part of the temporary ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas brokered by the US, Egypt and Qatar.

Relatives of Israeli-Russian hostages being held captive by Hamas in Gaza went to Moscow this week to seek the Kremlin’s assistance in getting their family members released by the terror organization. Moscow assisted in the release of Roni Krivoi on Sunday.

Krivoi was released in a separate agreement from the hostage release agreement, apparently as a favor by the terror group to Moscow.

Police disperse protest by bereaved families at Knesset: ‘Why didn’t anyone protect my parents?’

Police disperse a protest against the government by bereaved families outside the Knesset in Jerusalem.

“Why didn’t anyone protect my parents,” says Maoz Inon to an officer as they try to move him.

Inon’s parents, Bilha and Yakovi Inon, 78 and 75, were killed in Netiv Ha’asara on October 7.

According to the Ynet news site, activists say a number of protesters were detained.

Police tell the news site that a sign was taken from a protester after she rammed it into a lawmaker’s car.

Hamas ‘willing’ to extend temporary ceasefire by additional 4 days — report

Protesters release balloons as they call for the release of the Bibas family, whose members are being held hostage in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas terror group, in Tel Aviv, Nov. 28, 2023 (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Protesters release balloons as they call for the release of the Bibas family, whose members are being held hostage in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas terror group, in Tel Aviv, Nov. 28, 2023 (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

A source close to Hamas says the terror group is willing to extend by an additional four days a Gaza truce that has seen Israeli hostages exchanged for Palestinian prisoners, and humanitarian aid entering the Strip. The initial four-day truce has already been extended for two days.

“Hamas has informed the mediators that it is willing to extend the truce for four days and that the movement would be able to release Israeli prisoners that it, other resistance movements and other parties hold during this period, according to the terms of the existing truce,” the source tells AFP.

Under the existing agreement, the Gaza-based terror groups must free Israeli children and women, not including serving Israel Defense Forces soldiers. Nine children remain hostage in Gaza, the youngest aged just 10 months old.

Between Friday and Monday, when the truce was initially set to expire, Hamas released 50 Israeli hostages — 30 children and 20 Israeli women, 10 of them mothers of freed kids — abducted by Hamas during its October 7 onslaught. It also freed an Israeli-Russian man as a gesture to Moscow, and 18 foreigners — 17 Thais and a Filipino — as part of a separate, Iran-brokered deal.

In return, Israel has freed 150 female and underage Palestinians serving time in Israeli prison for security offenses.

The original deal stipulated that the ceasefire could be extended by more days — up to a total of 10 days, including the first four — if Hamas releases at least 10 additional hostages each day, with Israel freeing more security inmates at a ratio of three prisoners for every hostage.

A two-day extension was agreed upon, and after Hamas released 10 Israeli hostages on Tuesday, it is expected to free another 10 today. Israel is expected to release 60 Palestinian security prisoners, all women and minors, as part of the two-day extension.

Cousin of Bibas family says they have received no information: ‘We don’t know if they’re alive’

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 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)

A cousin of Shiri Bibas, who was kidnapped to Gaza along with her two young children and husband, says that the family hasn’t received any information on their physical condition.

“We don’t know if they are alive, or wounded. Yarden was taken prisoner when he was wounded,” Yossi Schneider tells the Kan public broadcaster.

Schneider says that he spends a lot of time talking to international media outlets in an attempt to raise awareness of his family’s plight, and that while some are sympathetic, others are critical of Israel.

“I am interviewed a lot, and along with the empathy I sometimes receive, I am asked about Israel’s actions and encounter criticism,” he says. “We are always to blame for everything. I tell them that October 7 is a day to remember, and that one day they will wake up to the same reality.”

The Bibas family, including baby Kfir who is now 10 months old, was transferred by Hamas to another Palestinian terror group in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said Monday, dampening hopes of their release during the current truce.

Kfir was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz along with his 4-year-old brother Ariel and parents Yarden, 34, and Shiri, 32, when terrorists rampaged through southern communities on October 7, murdering at least 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducting some 240.

Hospitals: None of the ‘extraordinary’ women released from Gaza last night are in immediate danger

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)

The hostages released from Hamas captivity in Gaza last night are undergoing medical and psychological evaluations at Ichilov Hospital and Sheba Medical Center.

Prof. David Zeltser, deputy director of emergency medicine at Ichilov, reports that the two women brought there are in generally good physical condition and had joyous reunions with their family members.

Prof. Itai Pessach, director of the Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital at Sheba, called the eight returnees who arrived at his hospital “a group of extraordinary women who endured the hardships of their captivity in a remarkable fashion.”

Pessach reports that some of the women had complex underlying medical issues and that some suffered injuries as they were being abducted or during their captivity.

“Their medical situation is complex and they will need ongoing medical treatment and attention, but there is no immediate danger to any of them,” he confirms.

Pessach adds that 17-year-old former hostage Mia Leimberg returned from captivity with her dog Bella and that the hospital was happy to host the pet.

A veterinarian from the Sheba veterinary service was called in to examine Bells and determined that she was well. The dog will stay with Leimberg in the hospital for as long as she is there.

“We are glad to be able to take part in this important task [of treating the returning hostages]. Our emotions range from joy and excitement when seeing the captives return and reunite with their families to pain and sadness, and even horror sometimes, in view of the difficult stories that we hear and the injuries that we treat — things we thought belonged to a different era in history,” Pessah shares.

Son of released 84-year-old: Gaza conditions were so bad not even a young person guaranteed to survive

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)

Gideon Heiman, whose 84-year-old mother Ditza was released from Gaza yesterday, says she was kept in conditions so bad that not even a young person would necessarily survive.

“My mother did not receive any medical treatment during all these days. The conditions were bad, such that even a young person would not be certain to survive, neither physically nor mentally,” he tells Army Radio.

Ditza Heiman lived alone at Kibbutz Nir Oz and was in her home’s safe room by herself on the morning of October 7, when Hamas terrorists invaded during a widespread massacre that took the lives of 1,200 people in Israel.

She was released by the terrorists yesterday, and came home in a wheelchair.

Man shot dead in Rahat in suspected criminal feud

A man was shot dead in the southern town of Rahat, police say.

The man, in his 20s, is not named.

Police say that their initial investigation finds that the killing was probably connected to a dispute between criminal families.

17 released Thai hostages set to arrive back in Bangkok

In this photo provided by Thailand's Foreign Ministry, Thai hostages, who were previously released, hug their newly-freed compatriots at the Shamir Medical Center in Israel, Nov. 28, 2023 (Thailand's Foreign Ministry via AP)
In this photo provided by Thailand's Foreign Ministry, Thai hostages, who were previously released, hug their newly-freed compatriots at the Shamir Medical Center in Israel, Nov. 28, 2023 (Thailand's Foreign Ministry via AP)

Seventeen Thai hostages kidnapped and held for weeks in the Gaza Strip by Hamas will arrive back in the kingdom tomorrow, officials say.

Roughly 13 Thais remain among the hostages taken by Palestinian terrorists during last month’s cross-border raid into Israel, according to Thailand’s foreign ministry.

The ministry confirms that 17 freed Thais will return home tomorrow, touching down in the capital Bangkok shortly after midday.

The former hostages will be accompanied by Thai foreign minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, who flew to Israel to meet with them earlier this week.

Ten of the group were released on Friday, as a truce began following weeks of negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the United States.

Seven more were set free by Hamas in the days that followed.

The group has been recuperating at a hospital in Israel since as authorities prepare to fly them home, Thai officials say.

Two more Thai hostages were released late Tuesday, but a foreign ministry official says they will remain in hospital in Israel for now, returning later.

“A totally warm feeling to see how the former 17 were lining up to welcome and give moral support to the two newcomers,” Parnpree posts on social media platform X.

Philippines president welcomes release of Noralin Babadilla, thanks Israel, Egypt and Qatar

Noralin Agojo Babadilla (Courtesy)
Noralin Agojo Babadilla (Courtesy)

A Filipino-Israeli woman arrived in Israel after being released by Hamas Tuesday night as part of a group of 12 hostages, the president of the Philippines announces.

Noralin Babadilla was the second of two Filipinos released from captivity in Gaza during the truce in the Israel-Hamas war. With her release, “all Filipinos affected by the war have been accounted for,” writes President Ferdinand Marcos.

Babadilla, who lived in Israel and worked as a caregiver, was visiting friends in Kibbutz Nirim with her husband during Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, the Israeli embassy in Manila said in a statement. Her husband, Gideon Babani, was killed during the attack, and Babadilla was taken hostage.

Marcos thanks Israel for facilitating Babadilla’s release, and thanks Egypt and Qatar “for their crucial role in this process over the past several weeks.”

Clashes reported in Jenin between IDF and Palestinian gunmen

Clashes between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli troops have reportedly been raging overnight in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, where Palestinian media outlets say the IDF is operating as part of apparent counterterror efforts.

G7 calls on Yemen’s Houthis to stop threatening shipping, free Israeli-linked vessel

This handout satellite picture released by Maxar Technologies on November 28, 2023, shows the recently seized Israeli-linked Galaxy Leader ship, that was captured by Houthi fighters on November 19, next to a support vessel in the southern Red Sea near Hodeida, Yemen. (Satellite image ©2023 Maxar Technologies/AFP)
This handout satellite picture released by Maxar Technologies on November 28, 2023, shows the recently seized Israeli-linked Galaxy Leader ship, that was captured by Houthi fighters on November 19, next to a support vessel in the southern Red Sea near Hodeida, Yemen. (Satellite image ©2023 Maxar Technologies/AFP)

TOKYO — G7 foreign ministers call on Iran-backed Houthi rebels to cease threats to international shipping and to release a vessel they seized earlier this month.

“Emphasizing the importance of maritime security, we call on all parties not to threaten or interfere with lawful exercise of navigational rights and freedoms by all vessels,” a statement released by G7 chair Japan reads.

“We especially call on the Houthis to immediately cease attacks on civilians and threats to international shipping lanes and commercial vessels and release the M/V Galaxy Leader and its crew, illegally seized from international waters on November 19,” it adds.

The Houthis have launched a series of drone and missile strikes targeting Israel since Hamas terrorists poured over the border into Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping about 240.

On November 17, Houthis seized Israeli-linked cargo vessel the Galaxy Leader and its 25 international crew at the entrance to the Red Sea.

Israel receives list of hostages that Hamas is due to release later today

People wave an Israeli flag as a helicopter transporting newly released hostages, held since the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group's October 7 attack, lands outside Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan on November 28, 2023. (Jack Guez/AFP)
People wave an Israeli flag as a helicopter transporting newly released hostages, held since the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group's October 7 attack, lands outside Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan on November 28, 2023. (Jack Guez/AFP)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says it has received a list with the names of abducted Israelis that Hamas is slated to release later today, the sixth group of hostages to be freed as part of a temporary truce in Gaza between Israel and the terror group.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office says the families of those on the list have been informed, without giving further details.

Today is the second day in a two-day extension of the ceasefire in Gaza. As part of the pause in fighting, Hamas has released hostages seized by Palestinian terrorists during the devastating attack in southern Israel on October 7, in exchange for the freeing of Palestinian prisoners and the entry of increased humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Under the terms of the agreement, the ceasefire could be extended by more days — up to a total of 10 days, including the first four — if Hamas releases at least 10 additional hostages each day, with Israel freeing more security inmates at a ratio of three prisoners for every hostage.

Mossad chief David Barnea visited Qatar yesterday for talks that addressed a potential further extension of the ceasefire.

4-year-old US-Israeli released from hospital two days after being returned to Israel

Avigail Idan is reunited with her aunt Liron and uncle Zuli at the Schneider children's hospital on November 27, 2023. (Schneider hospital)
Avigail Idan is reunited with her aunt Liron and uncle Zuli at the Schneider children's hospital on November 27, 2023. (Schneider hospital)

Avigail Idan, 4, an American-Israeli citizen kidnapped from Kibbutz Kfar Aza on October 7, has been released from the hospital two days after she was returned to Israel.

Idan’s parents were murdered by Hamas terrorists in last month’s onslaught. She was later abducted while hiding with four neighbors, who also have been released.

Idan, who was held by Hamas for 52 days, will stay with her aunt’s family.

G7 foreign ministers urge Hamas to free all hostages, back further pause in fighting

WASHINGTON — The G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the US as well as the High Representative of the European Union are calling for the unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas and the facilitated departure of foreign nationals from Gaza, according to a statement released by the US State Department.

The G7 also says it supports the further extension of the current pause in fighting.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to work with all partners in the region to prevent the conflict from escalating further,” the statement says.

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