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.