A group of Israeli and Thai hostages held by Hamas in Gaza since October 7 has been released as a truce between Israel and the militant group began, officials said.
The Red Cross, which is helping to transfer the detainees, said 24 hostages had been freed after the Hamas terrorist group agreed to a four-day ceasefire with Israel.
Hamas agreed to release 50 of 236 hostages in exchange for 150 Palestinians being held in Israel as part of a prisoner-hostage exchange. Thirteen Israeli and 12 Thai hostages were released Friday on the first day of the exchange. Israel released 39 Palestinian prisoners on Friday afternoon, local time.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed the hostages had returned to Israel, where they have undergone initial medical assessments.
Hamas released elderly women, mothers and children, but continues to hold fathers, husbands and grandfathers captive, leaving families separated. The Palestinian prisoners released are comprised of 24 women and 15 males between the ages of 14 and 18, according to The Christian Post.