Gaza hostages cross border into Egypt, set for return to Israel

The released hostages will be brought to hospitals where they will meet their families.

The 13 hostages released from Hamas on Friday are currently in Red Cross custody inside Egypt, N12 reported citing an Israeli official. Another Israeli source stated that the list of the released hostages for the first day corresponds to those who are currently in Egypt.

The transfer was made in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, Walla reported citing an Israeli official. This was after the IDF had completed its preparations for the reception of 13 hostages who were set to return to Israel on Friday, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

A live stream for their release can be seen above, but a stream of the hostages’ release provided by the Government Press Office will be available soon.

Additionally, 12 Thais will be released by Hamas in addition to the 13 released, according to Egypt’s Communications Ministry. The negotiations between Hamas and the government of Thailand were conducted separately from the negotiations with Israel and through a different mediator – Iran, N12 reported. Thailand’s Prime Minister confirmed their release.

It was previously reported that 23 Thai hostages will be released unconditionally by Hamas, mediated by Iran, according to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed from late Thursday.

The IDF worked in coordination with government ministries and other branches of the defense establishment to formulate a procedure to quickly bring back the hostages and provide the necessary care.

The released hostages will be brought to hospitals where they will meet their families. They will be released through the Rafah crossing into Egypt before being flown to Israel. The Egyptian Communications Ministry said that they are preparing for the hostages’ release at the crossing, which includes the Thai hostages. Hebrew media reported.

The hostages released on Friday were reportedly held in the southern Gaza Strip, Walla reported citing an estimation made by an Israeli security source.

Israeli Prison Service commissioner Katy Perry arrived at the ‘Damon’ prison to observe the release of the prisoners, as part of the plan for the exchange of the hostages.

“This is our mission, for the sake of returning the hostages home, and we will do it to the best of our abilities,” Perry said.

Walla reported, quoting Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, saying that “there will be a brief pause,” during his meeting with his Italian counterpart. “And then we will continue to operate with full military force against Hamas. We will not stop until we achieve our goals – the destruction of Hamas and the return of all the hostages.”

Gallant and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be in the Operations Directorate war room in HaKirya in Tel Aviv. The two Israeli leaders will closely monitor the management of the operation to bring the hostages from Hamas captivity to Israel.

The Prime Minister will be accompanied by National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi and his military Sec.-Gen. Avi Gil.

Around the same time, a senior IDF Southern Command official stated that “any attempt to violate the ceasefire will be met with force,” and instructed to formulate an orderly battle procedure for the continuation of the ground maneuver in Gaza and to prepare for the continuation of the fighting immediately after the end of the ceasefire, Walla reported.

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