Monday, February 26, 2024

Hamas frees 14 more captives in sixth phase of swap deal with Israel

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has released 14 more hostages it had been holding since an operation staged against Israel in early October.

The captives, comprising 10 Israelis and four Thai nationals, were released by the group on Wednesday. They were taken to Egypt before being transferred to the occupied territories.

Hamas and its fellow Gaza Strip-based resistance movement of the Islamic Jihad launched the operation on October 7 in response to the Israeli regime’s decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.

Around 250 people were taken captive during the operation.

The regime responded to the operation by bringing Gaza under a genocidal war that has so far killed more than 15,000 people.

Israel announced early on Thursday it had freed 30 Palestinians in the sixth batch of prisoner releases under a truce arrangement with Hamas. The Palestinians were released from prison facilities in Israel, the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, Israel added.

So far under the deal, five rounds of exchanges have led to the release of more than 250 people from both sides.

The truce is set to expire early Thursday.

Speaking on Tuesday, Khalil al-Hayya, a member of the Hamas’ Political Bureau, said he hoped the deal would be extended for a longer period of time.

Israel, however, has vowed to resume the war with “full force”, claiming that it seeks to end Hamas’ rule over Gaza.

Hamas has vowed that the Palestinian territory would only be ruled by its own people once the war was over.

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