Israel-Hamas war: 13 hostages are now in Israel, officials say; Americans not among them

A four-day ceasefire began between Israel and Hamas began this morning, although Israeli forces remain in Gaza. A total of 50 hostages currently held by Hamas are to be released during the temporary truce, the first such pause in fighting since Oct. 7, when Hamas launched its surprise attack and Israeli responded with a vast military offensive to destroy the militant group that governs Gaza. Under the deal, 150 Palestinian prisoners are also to be released from Israel, and more humanitarian aid will be admitted at the Gaza-Egypt border crossing.

Thirteen women and children taken hostage when the militant group Hamas stormed over the border with Israel in early October were released on Friday and are now back on Israeli soil.

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The Qatari Foreign Ministry confirmed the release of 24 hostages -- including 13 Israelis and 11 Thai nationals -- after seven weeks in captivity in Gaza, The Associated Press reported.

Thai officials have said that 12 Thai nationals have been released.

The hostage release comes after Israel and Hamas agreed to a four-day truce that includes a ceasefire and an exchange of about 50 Israeli hostages for some 150 Hamas prisoners held by Israel.

The hostages were being transported by the Red Cross on their way to hospitals in Israel, according to Israeli officials.

Officials receive list of hostages for Saturday

Update 5:34 p.m. EST Nov. 24: In a statement, the prime minister said that Mossad and the Israeli military have received a list of hostages to be released on Saturday, according to The New York Times. The list is being reviewed.

Israel’s Hostage Coordinator Brig. Gen. (res.) Gal Hirsch has given hostages’ families the information, the statement said, according to CNN.

The list is not expected to be released until the hostages are safely in Israel, CNN reported.

Freed hostages getting medical assessments in Israel

Update 4:14 p.m. EST Nov. 24: Freed hostages have returned to Israel and will be undergoing initial medical examinations. Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the chief spokesman for Israel’s military said at a news conference that they “face no life-threatening medical emergencies,” according to The New York Times. Further examinations are expected.

President Biden speaks after Hamas releases some hostages

Update 2:28 p.m. EST Nov. 24: “It’s only a start, but so far it’s gone well,” President Joe Biden said of the hostage release that started on Friday, according to The New York Times.

“We expect more hostages to be released tomorrow, and more after that,” Biden said. “Over the next few days, we expect that dozens of hostages will be returned to their families,” including Americans.

Biden says over the next hour the list of the next hostages will be released.

“I don’t trust Hamas to do anything right,” Biden said, according to the Times. “I just trust Hamas to respond to pressure.”

-- Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Palestinian prisoners have been released

Update 1:02 p.m. EST Nov. 24: Palestinian official says 33 Palestinians have been released by Israel from a West Bank prison, according to The Associated Press.

The Palestinian women and minors have arrived at the Beitunia checkpoint following their release from Ofer Prison as part of the hostage deal, the Times of Israel is reporting.

Waiting for Palestinian prisoners to be released

Update 12:30 p.m. EST Nov. 24: People gathered late Friday afternoon outside the Ofer prison in the West Bank city of Ramallah waiting for the first group of Palestinian prisoners and detainees to be released, The New York Times is reporting.

According to reports, Israeli forces at one point fired tear gas to keep people back from the gates.

The BBC is reporting that the detainees are accused of a range of offenses, from throwing stones to attempted murder.

Red Cross buses are reported to have arrived at the prison to take 24 women and 15 boys younger than 18 to an Israeli military checkpoint in the West Bank where they will then be allowed to return home, according to Israel’s prison service.

Full list of released Israeli hostages named

Update 12:19 p.m. EST Nov. 24: The 13 Israeli hostages released today by Hamas are:

  • Hanna Katzir, 77.
  • Margalit Mozes, 77.
  • Yafa Ader, 85.
  • Hannah Perry, 79.
  • Adina Moshe, 72.
  • Danielle Aloni, 44; and Emilia Aloni, 9.
  • Ruthi Mondar, 78; Keren Mondar, 54; and Ohad Mondar, 9.
  • Aviv Asher, 2; Raz Asher, 5; and Doron Katz-Asher, 34.

Hostages are now in Israel

Update 12:05 p.m. EST Nov. 24: The Israeli military says that the 13 released hostages have returned to Israel.

“Our forces are accompanying the released hostages until they reach their families at the hospitals,” a statement from the IDF read.

“The commanders of the IDF and its soldiers salute and embrace the returning hostages upon their return home,” it continues.

“We will continue to work together with the defense establishment’s bodies for the return of all the hostages,” the IDF adds.

Some released hostages being named

Update 11:55 a.m. EST Nov. 24: The Times of Israel has named some of the hostages who were released Friday.

According to the website, three members of the Mundar family have been released, 9-year-old Ohad, his 55-year-old mother Keren Mundar, and his grandmother Ruti, 78.

The Times also identified Margalit Mozes, 77 and Adina Moshe 72, as being seen in the footage of the hostages crossing through Egypt’s Rafah Crossing.

The released hostages are en route to the Kerem Shalom crossing through which they will enter Israel, officials say.

Palestinian hostages set to be released in coming hours

Update 11:18 a.m. EST Nov. 24: Thirty-nine Palestinians are set to be released from Israeli jails in the coming hours, according to the details of the deal hammered out to release hostages being held by Hamas.

Photos and videos that apparently showed hostages who were held in Gaza being released and taken to Egypt have been posted on social media and news websites. There has been no official word from Israel or Hamas about when the Palestinians would be released.

Under the agreement, Hamas is expected to release a total of 50 hostages over the next four days in exchange for 150 Palestinians being held in jails in Israel.

First look at released Israeli hostages

Update 11:11 a.m. EST Nov. 24: NPR has released footage it says is of the Israeli hostages in ambulances being driven through Egypt’s Rafah Crossing in Red Cross vehicles.

You can see children and women inside the vehicles.

Hostages will be taken to air base, according to report

Update 10:35 a.m. EST Nov. 24: Israeli helicopters will take the released Hamas hostages to Hatzerim Air Base in Israel then on to hospitals around the country, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

When the Israeli hostages are expected to get to the base is not known, an Israeli official told CNN.

Hatzerim is about 31 miles east of Gaza.

Hostages now in Egypt, report says

Update 10:07 a.m. EST Nov. 24: The first group of 13 Israeli hostages released by Hamas have now crossed into Egypt, the Times of Israel is reporting.

The hostages, who were taken by Hamas, have been held for 49 days in Gaza.

Twelve Thai citizens have also been freed from captivity by Hamas, according to officials in Egypt.

12 of 13 hostages are from one kibbutz, report says

Update 9:50 a.m. ET Nov. 24: Channel 12 in Israel reports that 12 of the 13 hostages set for release today are from Kibbutz Nir Oz.

The Times of Israel reports that 75 people -- 13 of whom are children -- were abducted from the kibbutz on Oct. 7.

Hostages being driven out of Gaza by Red Cross

Update 9:27 p.m. EST Nov. 24: The Red Cross is accompanying the 13 hostages who are said to have been released by Hamas on Friday.

According to Fox News, the hostages are being brought out of Gaza and to the Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt. From there, they will be taken into Israel.

A female soldier will be assigned to every hostage, according to Fox. Doctors and psychologists will be attending to the women and children.

Thai nationals to be released today

Update 9:13 a.m. EST Nov. 24: According to CNN, 12 Thai nationals will also be released by Hamas on Friday.

The head of Egypt’s state information service said the Thai nationals will be freed from Gaza Friday, with 13 Israeli captives.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on X that 12 Thai hostages have already been released.

At least 26 Thai nationals are being held by Hamas, The Guardian reported, while 39 Thai nationals have been killed, according to Thai officials.

Americans will not be part of Friday’s release

Update 7:50 a.m. EST Nov. 24: American citizens will not be among the 13 hostages expected to be released Friday morning, a US official told CNN.

The 13 are a handful of the more than 200 hostages who were taken by Hamas when the group stormed into Israel and attacked settlements along the country’s southern border on Oct. 7.

They will be received by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops.

An Israeli official said 39 Palestinian prisoners will be released Friday in exchange for the release of the 13 women and children.

Report: Hostage release will happen at 9 a.m. ET

Update 5:18 a.m. EST Nov. 24: A four-day cease-fire between Israel and Hamas began Friday with reports that a release of hostages will begin at 9 a.m. ET.

According to The New York Times, there had been no reports of fighting for several hours, and 60 trucks of aid, including fuel, had entered Gaza.

The first hostage release is scheduled to take place later Friday, when 13 women and children are expected to be freed, CNN is reporting.

Israel is expected to release 39 Palestinian prisoners Friday as part of the deal.

-- Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Original report

Hamas’s military wing confirmed the start of the cease-fire on Telegram, the New York Times reported. Israel has not immediately commented.

Thirteen women and children are among the first hostages to be released, according to CNN. Civilian hostages will be released at 4 p.m. local time Friday.

The list of hostages that are expected to be released will be given to the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, CNN reported. A list is expected to be released each day of the ceasefire.

Al-Ansari said, according to the AP, that both sides have exchanged lists of people to be released. Talks between the mediating parties continued Friday morning, he said.

The truce was supposed to start Thursday but was delayed. Under this deal, at least 50 hostages that are being held by Hamas in Gaza are expected to be freed.

Israel’s cabinet approved a ceasefire with Hamas, which will allow the release of 50 hostages held by the militant group in the Gaza Strip. The deal was mediated by Qatar between the warring sides.

Israel launched its assault on Gaza after Hamas fighters stormed across the border into communities in southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking an estimated 240 hostages, according to Israeli military accounts.