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Twin Girls Freed As Gaza Truce Extended

by | Tue, Nov 28 2023

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The Israel-Hamas truce in Gaza is poised to stretch into a fifth day on Tuesday (November 28) amid expectations Hamas will free at least 20 more of the hostages it seized on October 7 in return for greater flows of aid supplies into Gaza and Israel’s release of more imprisoned Palestinians. Qatari negotiators indicated the truce will extend into a sixth day on Wednesday.

Eleven more Israeli hostages with dual nationality — two women and nine children — were returned to Israel on Monday including three-year-old twins Emma and Yuli and their mother Sharon Aloni Cunio. All those released were from the Kibbutz Nir Oz next to Gaza where almost half the 400 residents were murdered or abducted during the Hamas attacks. The kibbutz said 49 residents remain in captivity, including the father of the twins. In the past four days Hamas has freed 69 hostages including 51 Israelis out of around 240 taken into Gaza.

Thirty-three Palestinian prisoners, nearly all them teenage boys, were freed from Israeli jails early Tuesday and released in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Most were accused of throwing stones and firebombs during confrontations with Israeli forces and less-serious offences. They were greeted by loud cheers as their bus made its way through the streets.

Most of the freed Israeli hostages freed have appeared to be physically well, but 84-year-old Elma Avraham is fighting for life in Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Center. Her daughter said her mother was “hours from death” when she arrived at the hospital on Sunday. She suffered from several chronic conditions that required regular medications, but was stable before she was kidnapped.

France said three of the hostages released on Monday were French-Israeli dual citizens, two 12-year-olds and one 16-year-old. The French government is seeking the release of five other French citizens being held captive in Gaza. Six other hostages freed on Monday had Argentinian citizenship and two were also German citizens.

On Saturday more than 100,000 Israelis gathered in what is known as Tel Aviv’s Hostage Square to mark what they called 50 Days of Hell since the Hamas attack and demanding the release of all hostages during the ceasefire.

Photo: Handout