First group of Israeli hostages released by Hamas as part of ceasefire deal

The first batch of hostages taken captive by Hamas have been released in exchange for a number of Palestinian prisoners.

A four-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was declared this morning, paving the way for dozens of hostages to be reunited with their families.

At around 3pm, Red Cross officials transferred a group of 13 Israeli captives were transferred over Rafah crossing into Egypt.

Meanwhile, 39 Palestinians detained in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem were set to be handed to Red Cross officials at Israel’s Ofer prison.

A separate deal also saw 12 Thai nationals freed, Thailand’s prime minister confirmed.

Hamas has pledged to free at least 50 of approximately 240 hostages seized by its fighters and other militants on October 7.

Thirteen Israeli hostages in the Gaza Strip have been handed over to officials from Egypt and the Red Cross, Israeli television channels reported on Friday.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Israeli government.

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