17 more hostages released from Gaza

The Israeli military announced Sunday that 14 Israelis and three foreign nationals have been released from Hamas’s captivity in Gaza in the latest round of hostages to be freed amid a four-day truce agreement to pause fighting.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that 14 Israelis and three foreign nationals were transferred to the International Red Cross on Sunday in the third wave of hostage releases in recent days.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said three Israeli families were among those released from Hamas on Sunday, including four members of the Brodetz family, four members of the Goldstein-Almog family and two members of the Elyakim family. Out of the 14 Israeli citizens released Sunday, nine were under the age of 18. 

The ages of Israeli citizens released range from 4 to 84 years old.

IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said on X that some hostages were released to Israel directly while others were released via the Rafah Crossing into Egypt. He noted that one of the hostages released directly to Israel was sent to the hospital immediately and emphasized that the IDF is in contact with the families of the hostages.

The latest group of freed hostages comes after Israel and Hamas agreed to a four-day truce in the fighting; 50 hostages being held in Gaza were expected to be released by Monday. Twenty-four hostages were freed Friday in the first wave, and an additional 17 were released Saturday.

President Biden announced that 4-year-old American girl Abigail Idan was part of the latest group of hostages released by Hamas on Sunday. Idan had just turned 4 years old Friday while being held hostage by Hamas for more than a month. 

Idan’s parents were killed in front of her during the attacks on Oct. 7, Biden said Sunday. 

“Two days ago, two days ago, one of our fellow Americans, a little girl named Abigail, turned 4 years old. She spent her birthday, that birthday … held hostage by Hamas. Today, she’s free, and [first lady Jill Bide] and I, together with so many Americans, are praying for the fact that she is going to be alright. She’s free, and she’s in Israel now,” Biden said in his Sunday remarks.

About 240 people were taken hostage during the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7, which left more than 1,200 Israelis dead. Since then, U.S. and Israeli officials have been working to secure the release of those being held hostage.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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