Two more hostages have been released by Hamas, CNN reported Monday, citing Israeli officials and other sources.
Soon after CNN reported the news, the Red Cross confirmed their release, stating that it would facilitate their transport out of Gaza Monday evening.
Further, CNN and others were reporting that the pair were two women of dual Israeli citizenship, Yocheved Lifshitz, who is 85 and Nurit Cooper, 79.
News of their release came three days after two American women—mother and daughter Judith and Natalie Raanan of Evanston, Illinois—were released on “humanitarian grounds” Friday because the mother is in poor health.
The four released hostages have been among more than 200 whom Hamas abducted amid its massive surprise attack on Israel, including dozens of kids. Officials from Qatar and Egypt have been negotiating for the captives’ release.
Earlier on Monday the Israeli TV network i24 reported that some 50 hostages with dual citizenship were set to be released as well, though The Times of Israel could not immediately confirm that report. By Monday afternoon Voice of America was reporting that the pair released Monday were likely the only hostages set free.
A statement from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Israel will not be a party to a ‘selection’ for holders of foreign passports for release.”
In the days immediately following Hamas’ October 7 attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas and a “complete seige” of Gaza, cutting off electricity, food, fuel and water in the territory. About 10 days ago Israel’s Energy Minister said there would be no humanitiarian break in the blockade until all hostages taken by Hamas were freed.