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Hamas releases two more hostages amid negotiations with Qatar and Egypt


In a recent development, Hamas has announced the release of two more hostages for “compelling humanitarian” reasons. This release follows negotiations involving Qatar and Egypt, signifying ongoing diplomatic efforts to secure the freedom of those held in captivity.

The released hostages have been identified as Nurit Yitzhak and Yochved Lifshitz, both Israeli citizens, and have been handed over to the Red Cross. The hostages, reported to be in their 80s, were kidnapped from the Kibbutz Nir Oz, while their husbands remain in captivity under Hamas, as reported by The Jerusalem Post.

Hamas, in an official statement on its Telegram channel, cited “compelling humanitarian” reasons for the release. This gesture comes amidst the backdrop of heightened tensions, with Israel continuing its airstrikes against the group despite ongoing negotiations.

Abu Ubaiba, a military spokesman from Al-Qassam Brigades, which operates in the West Bank, emphasized that Hamas’s decision to release the hostages was taken willingly, despite what the spokesperson referred to as Israel’s refusal to adhere to agreed-upon procedures. He stated on Telegram, “We have decided to release them for compelling humanitarian and satisfactory reasons despite the occupation committing more than 8 violations of the procedures that were agreed upon with the mediator brothers.”

Images broadcast on Egyptian TV showed Lifshitz and Cooper being transported on stretchers in ambulances for medical evaluation, underscoring the importance of their health and well-being.

This release of hostages is part of a broader effort, as sources within Gaza indicate that approximately 50 more hostages with dual citizenship will be released to the Red Cross in the near future, as reported by i24 News. The negotiations for their release have involved the participation of Qatar.

In response to these developments, Daniel Lifshitz, the grandson of Yochved Lifshitz, expressed the family’s happiness and satisfaction with the official announcement of her return. He expressed hope that this marks the beginning of further positive developments and the release of more hostages from their kibbutz and beyond.

Notably, Israel has yet to comment on these new releases, having previously criticized the prospect of Yitzhak and Lifshitz’s freedom as an attempt by Hamas to delay Israel’s impending invasion of Gaza.

Yitzhak and Lifshitz are the latest in a series of hostages released by Hamas. Last week, the terrorist group freed American mother-and-daughter hostages, Judith Tai Raanan and Natalie Raanan. The State Department spokesman, Matt Miller, declined to provide specific details regarding America’s role in negotiating the release of these hostages. However, he reiterated the United States’ commitment to seeing all hostages released promptly and unconditionally.

The situation remains dynamic, with diplomatic efforts continuing to secure the release of those held in captivity. will continue to monitor and report on these developments as they unfold.

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