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Relatives of released hostages optimistic more will be released

Qatar, which helped negotiate a swap with Israel, said the freed hostages included 12 Israelis, 10 people from Thailand and one from the Philippines.
Relatives of released hostages optimistic more will be released
Posted at 8:30 PM, Nov 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-24 21:52:34-05

Hamas has handed over 13 Israelis, 10 people from Thailand and one person from the Philippines. In turn, Israel released 39 Palestinian prisoners.

Among families and friends of hostages, there is some hope that more people will be released after this initial cease-fire, but at the same time there is resignation that the war will go on after the cease-fire expires.

Nahar Neta's mother was killed on Oct. 7 when Hamas militants attacked her kibbutz. He says he knows people still being held hostage.

"And I do know some of the people that are considered kidnapped too. For some of them, there's a little bit more optimism as to their situation, you know, and some of their families just they don't know anything," said Neta. 

On Friday, Hamas said it had released 24 hostages held captive in Gaza, including 13 women and children.

Qatar, which helped negotiate a swap with Israel, said the freed hostages included 12 Israelis, 10 people from Thailand and one from the Philippines. 

SEE MORE: 24 hostages freed by Hamas make it to Israel during 4-day truce

The Israeli government would not describe the condition of the hostages, but they were brought to a medical facility in Rafah.

Israel released 39 Palestinians. That group included 24 women, some who have been convicted of attempted murder for attacks on Israeli forces.

"I think Hamas will attempt to extend the period of cease-fire by group-feeding further hostages, because they're under huge pressure. And that's shown by the fact that they've agreed a deal which effectively releases three convicted Palestinian criminals, most of whom were involved in terrorist activity in exchange for each hostage," said Col. Richard Kemp, a retired British Army independent observer. 

One U.S. connection is Doron Katz Asher, a 34-year-old Israeli who was released with her two daughters, aged 2 and 4. Her cousin Chen Dori-Roberts lives just outside Houston and he has been posting on social media about the three hostages. He says the mother and children were visiting his aunt at a kibbutz in southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip. 

According to the deal, 26 more Israelis are expected to be returned.

Families of Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip gathered in what has become known as "Hostages Square" in Tel Aviv to celebrate the release and hope for more to come.

A woman said in Hebrew, "Every mother and father in the world can understand there is nothing more important than bringing the children back home."

Later, the square erupted in song with those gathered singing "Wherever you may be, a voice is calling."


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