The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have confirmed that the Israeli hostages freed from Gaza are now in Israel and have undergone medical checks.
A statement from the IDF reads:
The released hostages underwent an initial medical assessment inside Israeli territory. They will continue to be accompanied by IDF soldiers as they make their way to Israeli hospitals, where they will be reunited with their families.
Axios’ Barak Ravid has shared the full IDF statement in English:
WHO ‘extremely concerned’ about safety of patients at al-Shifa after hospital director arrested
Joe Biden says he expects “dozens more hostages, including Americans” will be released
‘Real’ chance of ceasefire extension, says Biden; putting conditions on Israel aid ‘worthwhile thought’
Summary of the day so far
Israel has notified families of hostages to be released tomorrow, says Israeli PM’s office
Red Cross says it facilitated release of 33 Palestinian detainees from Ofer prison to Ramallah
Biden says today’s hostage release is ‘start of a process’
‘It’s only a start’: Biden says hostage release deal involved ‘extensive US diplomacy’
Biden to speak on release of hostages from Gaza
Four German hostages released from Gaza, says foreign minister
UN agency says 137 trucks enter Gaza in biggest humanitarian convoy since start of war
Freed Palestinian prisoner says she is ‘nervous and stunned’ after release
Buses carrying Palestinian detainees arrive at Beitunia checkpoint
Four children and five older women among freed hostages, says Israeli PM’s office
Israel releases names of hostages freed from Gaza
IDF confirms released hostages are inside Israel
Israel and Hamas have strong reasons not to extend Gaza ceasefire
Qatar says 39 women and children released from Israeli jails
13 Israeli citizens, 10 Thais, one citizen from Philippines released from Gaza, says Qatar
Red Cross confirms 24 hostages released from Gaza
Red Cross vehicles seen carrying hostages from Gaza
First Israeli hostages cross into Egypt, local media reports
Israeli hostages released, say local media
Twelve hostages released, says Thai prime minister
Hamas chief committed to truce and ‘hostage swap’
Aid trucks begin entering Gaza, Reuters reports
‘War is not over yet’, Israeli military spokesperson warns
Truce officially in place but sirens sound in southern Israel
Sirens sound in Israeli communities near Gaza border, Israeli military says
Israeli forces raid Indonesian hospital, Al Jazeera reports
Whole world ‘shocked’ at images coming from Gaza, Spanish PM tells Netanyahu
Truce expected to begin at 7am (0500 GMT), Qatar says
Most of the Israeli hostages released by Hamas were said to be in good health after returning to Israel, the hospital receiving them announced.
A statement from Schneider Children’s hospital, where four women and four child hostages were released, said doctors had conducted a preliminary examination and said they were all in in good physical condition, Associated Press reports.
A total of 13 Israeli hostages were freed on Friday and transferred to three separate hospitals across Israel. Thirty-nine Palestinian prisoners were released by Israel on Friday evening.
Reuters has posted a video report on displaced Palestinians in Gaza saying they’re not being allowed to return north as the Israel-Hamas ceasefire continues.
A man beside a road in Khan Younis, in the territory’s south, says in the video, posted on X (formerly Twitter):
They didn’t let us go back to Gaza City to see our children. They’re young and don’t know their way … No one knows what to do or how we will bring them back.
We are poor people, I got them food to eat. Our hearts are aching.
As we posted earlier, Israeli troops fatally shot two Palestinians and wounded 11 others on Friday as they headed toward northern Gaza, Associated Press reported.
The shooting took place as hundreds of Palestinians who sought refuge in southern Gaza were seen trying to head back to the north, despite warnings by the Israeli army not to attempt to return to their homes.
Witnesses said Israeli troops were opening fire on people trying to head north.
An AP journalist saw the two bodies and the wounded as they arrived at a hospital in the town of Deir al-Balah in the southern half of Gaza. The injured people had been shot in the legs.
For the families of the Israelis hostages freed by Hamas, there was happiness mingled with concern for those who remained in Gaza, Reuters reports.
“I am happy I received my family back, it’s allowed to feel joy and it’s allowed to shed a tear. That’s a human thing,” said Yoni Katz Asher, whose wife Doron and children Raz and Aviv were freed on Friday.
But I am not celebrating, I will not celebrate until the last of the hostages returns home.
Israeli leaders have sworn to free the rest of the hostages as the military pursues its invasion of Gaza in the wake of Hamas’ attack on 7 October.
For the moment, the hostages are being kept away from the media while their condition is assessed. And for those whose relatives have not come home, the wait continues in a conflicting swirl of feelings.
“The emotions are mixed emotions,” said Shelly Shem Tov, the mother Omer Shem Tov, 21, who had attended the outdoor Supernova dance festival that was targeted in the attack and was among those taken hostage. He was not among those released on Friday.
“I’m excited for the families who today are going to hug their loved ones,” she said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 12.
I am jealous. And I am sad. Mostly sad that Omer is still not coming home.
Hamas released the first group of hostages – 13 Israelis, 10 Thais and a Philippine national – on Friday, while Israel released 39 Palestinian prisoners.
Organisers of a march against antisemitism billed as Britain’s biggest since the second world war have demanded that the far-right leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon stay away.
Yaxley-Lennon, who uses the name Tommy Robinson, has claimed to support the aims of the march through central London due to be held this Sunday.
Organisers say it will be the biggest protest against anti-Jewish hatred since the 1936 Cable Street protests against Oswald Mosley’s blackshirts.
Britain’s Jewish communities have suffered a large rise in antisemitism since the Middle East exploded into crisis after the Hamas attacks against Israel on 7 October. Police said up to 50,000 people were expected at Sunday’s march.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said:
Contrary to what Tommy Robinson appears to believe, the drunken far-right thugs who came to ‘protect the Cenotaph’ on Armistice Day, some of whom shouted ‘sieg heil’ or hospitalised police officers, are not allies of the Jewish community and are not welcome at our solidarity march on Sunday 26 November.
We look forward to seeing those who genuinely support our community and invite all of our allies to join us and march shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with British Jews.
On 11 November, Armistice Day, Robinson supporters were among those who attacked police after claiming to be protecting war monuments from pro-Palestine marchers.
The Met deputy assistant commissioner Ade Adelekan said:
Having spoken to the Campaign Against Antisemitism, Tommy Robinson is not welcome at the march on Sunday.
Police said they were aware that Robinson might try to attend posing as a reporter.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it is “extremely concerned” about the safety of the estimated 100 patients and health worker remaining at Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital.
In a statement published today, the WHO said it did not “have information about the well-being” of four health workers who have been arrested, including the director of al-Shifa hospital.
On Thursday, Mohammad abu Salmiya and other medics were reportedly arrested by members of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) as they were travelling with a WHO evacuation convoy.
The WHO said it participated in a “high-risk mission” on Wednesday, in cooperation with the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), to transfer 151 patients, relatives and health workers from al-Shifa.
During the screening process by members of the IDF, three medical personnel from the PRCS and three from the health ministry were detained, it said. The statement continued:
Two of the six detained health workers have reportedly been released. We do not have information about the well-being of the four remaining health staff, including the director of Al-Shifa hospital. WHO calls for their legal and human rights to be fully observed during their detention.
The IDF has confirmed Abu Salmiya had been arrested and transferred to the Shin Bet domestic security service for further questioning. It said that al-Shifa “under his direct management, served as a Hamas command and control centre” and that Hamas fighters had sought refuge in the hospital.
The US president has said he expects American citizens to be among the hostages who will be released.
Posting to social media, he said:
Beginning today, under the deal reached between Israel and Hamas, fighting in Gaza will halt for four days.
13 Israeli hostages have been released along with several Thai nationals.
And we expect that dozens more, including Americans, will be returned to their families.
Protesters shouted “free Palestine” as Joe Biden took a stroll through Nantucket in Massachusetts with first lady Jill Biden on Friday.
The protest happened shortly after the president made a statement welcoming the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.
Here’s a clip:
Most of the Israeli hostages released by Hamas earlier today were said to be in good health after returning to Israel, the hospital receiving them announced.
AP reported that a statement from Schneider Children’s hospital, where four women and four child hostages were released, said that doctors had conducted a preliminary examination and said they were all in good physical condition.
An Israeli health ministry spokesperson confirmed that eight released hostages had arrived at Schneider Children’s hospital, adding:
This is a complex event, both medically and emotionally.
Joe Biden has said the chances were “real” that a temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas could be extended.
The pause in hostilities, which began this morning and will initially last four or five days, was announced early on Wednesday and has raised hopes for a more durable pause in the violence.
The US president, speaking to reporters from Nantucket, Massachusetts earlier today, was asked whether the truce could be extended, Reuters reported. He replied:
I think the chances are real.
Asked what his expectations were, Biden said “I don’t know how long it will take,” adding:
My expectation and hope is that as we move forward, the rest of the Arab world and the region is also putting pressure on all sides to slow this down, to bring this to an end as quickly as we can.
He also said that conditioning military aid to Israel was a “worthwhile thought, but I don’t think if I started off with that we would have ever gotten where we are today”, AP reported.
Spain and Belgium’s prime ministers called for a “permanent ceasefire” on Friday at the Rafah border crossing, welcoming a four-day truce that paused fighting between Israel and Hamas.
“It is absolutely necessary to establish a lasting humanitarian ceasefire to reverse the catastrophic situation that the people of the [Gaza] Strip are going through,” said Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez.
Alexander De Croo, Belgium’s prime minister, echoed Sánchez, saying: “The destruction of Gaza is unacceptable. We cannot accept that a society is being destroyed the way it is being destroyed.”
Here’s the clip: