An American citizen was among the sixth day of ‘hostages for prisoners’ swap Wednesday when 16 hostages were released as Qatari, Egyptian and U.S. mediators in Doha continue to negotiate for a continued truce to facilitate further releases.
Liat Beinin was the American released.
"I've got some very good news to report. Liat Beinin is safe in Egypt, she's crossed the border," President Joe Biden said. "I talked with her mother and father, they're very appreciative, and, things are moving well. She'll soon be home with her three children. That's all I have to say for right now."
"I am incredibly relieved and grateful that my daughter is alive and will soon be returned to her family," Yehuda Beinin, her father said in a statement. "Although I am overjoyed that she will be reunited with us, I remain committed to the mission of bringing my son-in-law, Aviv, home as well."
Beinin was part of a group of 10 Israeli and dual-citizen hostages. Four other Thai citizens were also released.
The hostages were transferred to Egypt and then to Israel, where they were taken to hospitals and reunited with their families.
Of the ten hostages released, five were minors and five were women, including a minor with a Dutch-Israeli nationality and three women with German-Israeli nationality, said the Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson.
Earlier Wednesday, two other Israeli-Russian hostages were released, the Israeli military said.
In exchange, 30 more Palestinians were released from Israeli prisons, including 16 minors and 14 women, Qatari officials said.
Some 210 Palestinians have been released from Israeli prisons since the ‘hostages for prisoners’ swap began last Friday.
Currently, Qatar is "focused on the mission at hand, which is the next 24 or 48 hours, expanding the truce and hopefully moving into a full suspension of violence in Gaza," Qatari’s Nawaf Al-Thani stated on Wednesday.
Qatar is also focused on negotiating a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the long-term.
"It's not an immediate focus, but it's something they would like to see after things cool down and fighting ends... A viable, secure state of Israel next to a viable, secure Palestinian state,” Al-Thani added.
Alternatively, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Israel’s operation to wipe out Hamas in Gaza will continue after the hostages are released.
"In recent days, I have heard a question: After completing this stage of the return of our hostages, will Israel go back to the fighting? My answer is an unequivocal yes," Netanyahu said in a statement. "There is no situation in which we do not go back to fighting until the end."
Because of the seriousness of situation revolving around extending the truce for more hostages, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel late Wednesday.
The negotiations are expected to be more difficult in the future because Netanyahu has never wavered from his position from the very beginning - get the hostages out and wipe out Hamas from Gaza.
Hamas leaders have also communicated that they want all of the prisoners held in Israel released in order to have Hamas release all of the remaining hostages they still hold.
Women and children have been released on both sides, but Hamas wants more in order to release the men, fathers, and soldiers left behind inside Gaza.
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