Israel-Hamas war, Gaza ceasefire, hostages and prisoners freed

Undated photo of Abigail Eden. Elizabeth Hirsch Naftali

Another 17 hostages held in Gaza were freed on Sunday, the third surrender during a four-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

The Israeli military said the group included Israelis, dual Israeli citizens and Thai nationals.

Among the freed hostages was 4-year-old American-Israeli Abigail Edan, marking the first freeing of an American hostage. US President Joe Biden, who praised Eden’s release in a speech on Sunday, spoke with the girl’s family on Sunday afternoon, the White House said.

A 4-year-old child is now being treated at a hospital near Tel Aviv, a spokesman for the Hostage and Missing Families Forum told CNN. The other 16 freed hostages were transferred to hospitals by Sunday evening local time, according to a statement released by Israel’s Health Ministry.

Officials released a full list of the names and ages of the freed hostages. Among them are two mothers with their children and a pair of siblings.

If you’re joining us, here are today’s other top headlines:

Palestinian youth released from Israeli prisons: Thirty-nine prisoners and detainees from a total of seven Israeli prisons were released on Sunday as part of an agreement between Israel and Hamas, the Israel Prison Service confirmed. The group consists of boys 18 years and younger; Two are 15, and one – the youngest – is 14 years old.

Twenty-three of those released are being held in administrative detention, a widely criticized practice in which a detainee is unaware of any charges against them and their case is not subject to any legal process.

Talks on extending the ceasefire: Hamas wants to extend a four-day ceasefire with Israel beyond Monday with a deal to free more jailed Palestinians, it said in a statement after the latest transfer. Israel’s war cabinet discussed the possibility at its meeting Sunday evening, a source told CNN, and their conditions remain unchanged: Hamas must release an additional 10 hostages for each additional day’s pause in the fighting.

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Major countries also support the extension: US President Joe Biden’s goal is to extend the ceasefire to ensure the safe release of more hostages and get critical aid to civilians in the enclave, he told a news conference on Sunday. Qatar, which played a key role in brokering the original deal, said it also hoped to extend the ceasefire.

Aid trucks into Gaza: The Egyptian government confirmed that at least 120 aid trucks entered Gaza through the Rafah border on Sunday. Aid to Gaza has been a key factor in maintaining the ceasefire and exchanges between Israel and Hamas.

The hostages leave the hospital: Some Israelis from the first wave of freed hostages – two families – have been evacuated from Schneider Children’s Medical Hospital in Israel, it announced on Sunday. They are the first former hostages to be freed.

Palestinians killed in the West Bank: Eight Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire in the occupied West Bank in 24 hours, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement on Sunday. CNN has reached out to the Israel Defense Forces for comment on the killings.

This post has been updated with the latest news about freed hostages and possible talks to extend the ceasefire.

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