First batch of prisoners reunited with families on first day of Gaza truce

First batch of prisoners reunited with families on first day of Gaza truce

QLNews
By QLNews

The first batch of freed Palestinian prisoners and Israeli hostages were reunited with their families as the humanitarian pause between Israel and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) came into effect on Friday.

Dr Majed bin Mohammed Al Ansari, Official Spokesperson for Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said 39 Palestinian women and children who were in Israeli prisons have been freed. The truce was mediated by Qatar, Egypt and the USA.

A total of 13 Israeli hostages, all of them women and children, have been reunited with their families. They were safely moved out of Gaza by the International Red Cross as part of the implementation of the Humanitarian Pause.

In addition, 10 Thai citizens and a Filipino were also handed over to the International Red Crescent as part of ongoing mediation, outside the framework of the agreement of the Humanitarian Pause, said Dr Al Ansari.

He also confirmed that humanitarian aid trucks were able to cross the border to deliver critical supplies to the Palestinians trapped in the Strip.

“We’ve maintained direct lines of communication with both sides and the International Red Cross throughout the process. We continue to monitor the situation and are relaying information between both sides and the International Red Cross in real-time to ensure that any issues that occur are immediately addressed. We also remain in close contact with our regional and international partners regarding the current situation,” said Dr Al Ansari.

“We express our thanks to all parties for their cooperation so far and hope to build momentum in the coming hours and days towards extending this pause beyond the initial four-day period,” he added.

Of the 39 Palestinian prisoners freed by Israel, 28 were released in the occupied West Bank while the other 11 were brought to annexed East Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club advocacy group.

Two white coaches, escorted by armoured vehicles, were seen leaving the Ofer military camp in the early evening.

The Palestinian prisoners inside the buses in Beitunia were greeted by large crowds, many of whom chanted ‘God is great,’ and burst firecrackers that lit up the night sky.

Those freed include Malak Salman, arrested seven years ago for trying to stab a policeman in Jerusalem while on her way to school as a 16-year-old.

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