Eleven more hostages were back in Israel Monday evening, after Hamas handed them over to Red Cross custody as part of a temporary truce agreement amid the two sides’ war in Gaza, Israel’s military announced.
Earlier in the day, a four-day truce agreed to on Friday was extended by two more days, into Wednesday, when Hamas agreed to Israel’s demand that at least ten more hostages be released on each of those extra days.
Hamas had taken a total of about 240 people hostage during its massive October 7 attack on Israel, sparking the war. The terrorist organization had agreed to release 50 hostages as part of the initial truce—which has happened with the reported release of 11 on Monday. During the extended cease-fire, that total should come to at least 70 hostages released—likely all women and children.
Meanwhile, Israel has so far released 117 Palestinians it had been holding prisoner amid a promise to release at least 150 as part of the truce agreement, also mostly women and children.
Additionally as part of the truce agreement, more than 200 humanitarian aid trucks have entered Gaza, dozens of which were intended to be sent to northern Gaza, where the front lines are based.
Israeli leaders, though, have been playing down any talks of a lasting halt in the fighting, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying, “We continue until the end—until victory.”