A third batch of Israel and foreign hostages was released from Hamas captivity on Sunday evening as the group arrived in Israel. They numbered 17, including 14 Israelis and three Thai citizens. The Hamas Group handed over the former captives to the humanitarian organisation Red Cross and were further taken for medical examination.
Among those released was a 4-year-old Avigail Idan, who is an American-Israeli citizen from Kibbutz Kfar Aza, whose parents were murdered by Hamas terrorists during its initial attack on October 7.
As the released hostages crossed into Israel, their relatives were awaiting them in hospitals after having received information from the government that their loved ones were on the latest list handed over by Qatar.
HERE ARE THE 14 ISRAELIS RELEASED BY HAMAS
An American-Israeli citizen from Kibbutz Kfar Aza, whos parents, as per The Times of Israel, Roee and Smadar were killed by Hamas on October 7. She was captured by the terror group after hiding in neighbour’s house. Her release was noted by US President Joe Biden during his address on hostage releases on Sunday.
- Hagar Brodutch, 40, with her three children Ofri, 10, Yuval 9 and Oriya
The four were held by Hamas fighters from their Kfar Aza home, along with Avigail Idan, who was hiding with them. Avihai Brodutch, the husband and father, was defending the kibbutz while his family was hiding in their sealed room. When he returned, he found no one at home and assumed his family members were killed, before finding out they were held hostage.
- Chen Goldstein-Almog, 48, and three of her four children, Agam, 17, Gal, 11 and Tal, 9
The family was taken from Kibbutz Kfar Aza. The husband, Nadav Goldstein-Almog, and their eldest daughter, Yam, were killed in their home by Hamas. The grandparents and the extended family were the ones who buried Nadav and Yam on October 23 on Chen’s birthday as she and kids were held by Hamas but alive.
- Ela and Dafna Elyakim, 8 and 15
The sisters were abducted from their father’s house in Kibbutz Nahal Oz. They had come there to spend the Simhat Torah holiday with their father, Noam Elyakim, his partner Dikla Arava, and the latter’s son. All three were killed by Hamas.
She was held captive from Kibbutz Nahal Oz. On October 7, Avraham told her son Uri Rawitz that she was alone in a her safe room but not could not lock it as the door was too heavy. Her sons lived in this same house but they could not go to their mother. They survived the attack.
Taken from Kibbutz Kfar Aza along with her husband Keith, her daughter also lives in Kfar Azar but she was away from the weekend. Keith is a US citizen and Aviva was born in South Africa and immigrated to Israel when she was eight. The couple have stayed in Kibbutz Kfar Aza for the last 40 years.
Keith is believed to remain hostahe in Gaza.
He is said to have a dual Russian-Israeli citizenship, and was working as a sound technician at the Supernova music rave, where Hamas terrorists massacred hundreds. Hamas said Roni’s release came “in response to the efforts of Russian President Vladimir Putin and in appreciation of Russian position, in support of the Palestinian cause” and not as part of the exchange with Israel.
The ongoing hostage releases are a part of the Qatar-mediated truce deal between Israel and Hamas, a total of 50 civilians are to be exchanged for 150 Palestinian prisoners, some of them convicted on weapon charges and violent offences, over a four-day period.
The temporary truce has also called for a ceasefire between the Israeli military and Hamas and other armed wings in Gaza for the said period. Israel has hinted at a longer and extended ceasefire if Hamas continues to release hostages at a rate of at least 10 per day.