The fourth day of the ‘hostages for prisoners’ exchange during the temporary truce between Israel and Hamas had a snag on Monday, but was eventually resolved just hours after Israel and Hamas agreed to extend the truce for two more days.
Nine children and two women were released on Monday.
After receiving the list of names of the fourth wave of hostages Hamas was to release on Monday, Israel said that they were holding “discussion,” which initially held up the release.
“Discussions are being held on the list that was received overnight and which is now being evaluated in Israel. Additional information will be issued when possible,” read a statement from the Prime Minister ’s Office.
This latest exchange was to consist of 11 hostages, although some reports indicated problems over the issue of children being separated from their mothers. This issue had come up earlier.
One child was released during the second exchange on Saturday without her mother.
Hila Rotem Shoshani, 13, was released Saturday without her mother, Raya. After her release, Hila told her family that she had been with her mother and had only been separated from her two days before.
Hamas had agreed initially agreed to not separating the children from their mothers.
Israeli officials said that Monday’s hostage list was a violation of the agreement because it included children without their mothers.
In the end, the hostages released Monday, included the mothers.
This particular group was from the Israeli Nir Oz Kibbutz that suffered the most devastating attack on Oct. 7. About one in every four residents of the Kibbutz was killed or kidnapped.
Qatari and Egyptian officials have been significant negotiators and mediators with Hamas for the release of those held in captivity.
The discussion on Monday to revise the list went on for about 12 hours between Israeli officials, and Qatari and Egyptian negotiators, who pressed Hamas to change the list and include the mothers.
The initial terms that Israel and Hamas agreed upon was that Hamas would release at least 50 Israeli women and children in four installments.
In exchange, Israel would free 150 women and minors from Israeli prisons and there would be a four-day peace pause to facilitate the three-to-one ratio exchange, and humanitarian aid would be delivered into the Gaza Strip.
It has been a bittersweet release for some of the hostages. Some still have families members in captivity. Others are returning home to discover they have lost their loved ones in the Oct. 7 attack when some 3,000 Hamas terrorists invaded Israel by land, air and sea and killed 1,400 as Hamas launched thousands of rockets at Israel.
During the next two days, at least 20 more Israeli hostages will be released at a rate of 10 each day and Israel will release three prisoners for every hostage released, and more trucks will deliver aid into Gaza.
"We will not stop until all of the hostages held by Hamas terrorists are released," President Joe Biden said, adding that he has remained "deeply engaged over the last few days to ensure that this deal—brokered and sustained through extensive U.S. mediation and diplomacy—can continue to deliver results."
In separate negotiations, Hamas has released more than a dozen Thai nationals, one Filipino, and one Russian Israeli.
Israel has not wavered once vowing that after the pause the war will continue to wipe out Hamas "with full military power."
"We will not stop until we achieve our goals: the destruction of Hamas and bringing home the hostages from Gaza to Israel," Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said last week.
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