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Here’s what we know about the freed hostages in the cease-fire deal


(NewsNation) — Hamas has released a total of 41 hostages as part of a four-day ceasefire deal after being abducted and held in Gaza for the past 50 days.

On Friday, Hamas freed 24 hostages, including 13 Israelis, 10 Thai citizens and one Filipino citizen, according to a spokesperson for Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Hamas released a second group of hostages — 13 Israeli citizens and four foreign nationals — on Saturday night after an hours-long delay. 

Hamas delayed the release after accusing Israel of not adhering to the agreed terms of the deal regarding the delivery of humanitarian relief to the besieged Gaza Strip and Palestinian prisoners.  

Qatar later announced the “obstacles were overcome” through mediation and the hostage release would resume.

Celebrations were not one-sided, as 39 Palestinian prisoners returned home to a hero’s welcome in the West Bank on Friday, including 15 teenagers and 24 women. 

The temporary truce between Israel and Hamas for a four-day ceasefire was the result of weeks of negotiations, brokered by Qatar and Egypt with the help of the U.S. Hamas is expected to release a total of 50 hostages in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, under the agreement. 

Israel has said the truce can be extended by an extra day for every additional 10 hostages freed but has vowed to quickly resume its offensive and complete its goals of returning all hostages and destroying Hamas’ military and governing capabilities. 

Hostages released Friday, Nov. 24

Israeli hostages Thai hostages Filipino hostages
1. Yafa Adar, 85
2. Margalit Moses, 77
3. Hana Katzir, 76
4. Adina Moshe, 72
5. Daniel Aloni, 45
6. Emilia Aloni, 5
7. Doron Katz Asher, 34
8. Raz Asher, 4
9. Aviv Asher, 2
10. Channa Peri, 79
11. Ruth Munder, 78
12. Karen Munder, 54
13. Ohad Munder, 9
1. Nattawaree Munkan
2. Santi Boonprom
3. Boonthom Pankhong
4. Mongkol Phachuabboon
5. Vetoon Phoome
6. Vichai Kalapat
7. Bancha Kongmanee
8. Buddhee Saengboon
9. Uthai Toonsri
10. Uthai Saengnuan
1. Gelienor “Jimmy” Pacheco

Ohad Munder a nine-year-old Israeli who spent his birthday in captivity, was one of four children released. The joyous reunion unfolded after nearly 50 days without contact. 

Gilat Livni, director of pediatrics at Schneider Children’s Medical Center, described the heartwarming scene, saying, “The hugs and the crying. It was very, very exciting for all of us.” 

Livni added that the children were in relatively good health, opting to stay at the medical center for a few more days due to the supportive atmosphere.  

In a touching moment captured on video, the boy’s mother and grandmother welcomed him back, while his grandfather remains in captivity. 

Four-year-old Raz Asher, pictured in her father’s arms, returned to Israel Saturday night.  

Margalit Mozes, another released Israeli hostage, was seen walking with an Israeli soldier shortly after arriving. 

Former Palestinian prisoner Nurhan Awad, who was 17 in 2016 when she was sentenced to 13 1/2 years in jail for attempting to stab an Israeli soldier with a pair of scissors was also released.

Marah Bakir another Palestinian prisoner was warmly welcomed at her family house in East Jerusalem.

Among the Thai hostages was 33-year-old Vetoon Phoome, a farm worker whose family had feared he was dead. 

Hostages released Saturday, Nov. 25

Israeli hostages
1. Emily Hand, 9
2. Hila Rotem, 13
3. Maya Regev, 21
4. Noam Or, 17
5. Alma Or, 13
6. Shiri Weiss, 53
7. Noga Weiss, 18
8. Sharon Avigdori, 52
9. Noam Avigdori, 12
10. Shoshan Haran, 67
11. Adi Shoham, 38
12. Yahel Shoham, 3
13. Naveh Shoham, 8

NewsNation’s Tanya Noury and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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ХАМАС освободил вторую группу заложников – 13 израильтян и четырех граждан Тайланда


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Вооруженная группировка ХАМАС, признанная террористической организацией в США и ЕС, освободила вторую группу заложников – 13 израильтян и четырех граждан Тайланда. Об этом сообщает Армия обороны Израиля.

По данным ЦАХАЛ, освобожденные заложники прошли первичное медицинское обследование, один гражданский был переведен в больницу, остальные направились в больницы, где они воссоединятся со своими семьями.

Премьер-министр Таиланда Сеттха Тхависин написал в твиттере, что граждане страны находятся в безопасности. По его словам, они “в целом в хорошем психическом здоровье и могут нормально говорить”.

Израильская тюремная служба сообщила об освобождении 39 палестинских заключенных. Они были переведены в тюрьму Офер, затем вывезены оттуда на автобусах, принадлежащих Красному Кресту.

В рамках соглашения о четырехдневном прекращении огня должны быть освобождены 50 израильских заложников в соотношении три к одному – в обмен на 150 палестинцев, содержащихся в израильских тюрьмах. Ожидается, что заложники будут освобождены четырьмя группами. Днем ранее ХАМАС освободил 13 израильских заложников, а также 10 тайландцев и одного филиппинца.

Русская служба “Би-би-си” писала, что граждане Таиланда освобождены по отдельной договоренности, в соглашение между Израилем и ХАМАС о перемирии и обмене заложниками и заключенными они не включены. Всего во время нападения боевиков ХАМАС было захвачено в заложники по меньшей мере 19 тайцев, работавших в сельском хозяйстве.

Война Израиля и ХАМАС продолжается 49-й день. Она началась утром седьмого октября с массированных ракетных ударов террористов из сектора Газа, захода боевиков ХАМАС и “Исламского джихада” на территорию страны и захвата заложников. В ответ Израиль начал наносить массированные авиаудары по сектору Газа, а поздно вечером 27 октября зашел крупными силами на территорию северной части сектора. В результате войны в Израиле с седьмого октября погибли 1200 человек. Всего боевики ХАМАС взяли в заложники 240 человек.


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The uncomfortable truth behind the hostage deal: War is hell, but it worked


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One of the most difficult truths in this war is that Yoav Gallant may have been right.

It was Gallant, Israel’s Defense Minister, who announced on Oct. 9, two days after Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack, that Gaza would be placed under a “complete siege,” with no food, water or electricity. 

It was Gallant who made the decision to pummel Gaza from the air, and to send in troops to kill Hamas fighters and blow up their tunnels.

That campaign has so far taken 14,000 Palestinian lives, according to the Hamas-run Gazan Health Ministry, and the lives of, at last count, 70 I.D.F. soldiers. More than 1.7 million Gazans are homeless. At least 4,609 of the dead are children. According to U.N. and WHO calculations, that’s 136 dead children per day, a number that dwarfs the child casualty rates of other modern wars.

I see the heartrending pictures of the helpless people these numbers represent. The news I read tells the stories of the 1,200 Israeli and foreign nationals whom Hamas slaughtered on Oct. 7, and of the innocent victims of Israel’s overwhelming response.

And now the news is telling me something else: All this violence has worked. 

And for all that my instincts could not be more naturally out of line with Gallant’s, his approach, however brutal, has worked.

From the beginning, Gallant believed that Hamas had no intention of releasing hostages. At the same time, Israel’s political leaders got a clear message from the people who live near the border with Gaza: Either Hamas goes, or we do.

So Gallant destroyed Gaza. Israel got a green light from President Joe Biden and then proceeded to run all the other red ones, ignoring the advice of foreign governments and protesters.

And Hamas buckled. 

“It’s hard to imagine a clearer signal of Hamas’s desperation than the deal agreed to by the Israeli government late Tuesday,” wrote Haviv Rettig Gur in The Times of Israel last week.

Initially, I believed there had to be a better way. Beyond the humanitarian disaster brought to Gaza by the Israeli war machine, I found it difficult to imagine that Israel’s long-term strategic interests could possibly be served by becoming an international pariah.

But now, as Hamas has so far upheld the terms of a hostage release deal many of us could never have imagined, seven weeks ago, they would have ever agreed to, I have to ask myself: Would a less devastating method have worked?

If Israel had held off on attacking unless Hamas returned the hostages and its senior leaders surrendered, could it have built on the initial international outrage over the Oct. 7 massacre to create a coalition of pressure on Hamas?

It’s nice to think so. But the way that so many across the world have worked to justify Hamas’s atrocities calls into question how long Israel’s clear moral upper hand might actually have lasted. And the longer Hamas dragged out the hostage release, the more attention it would have garnered, and the more power it would have accrued. The group held just one soldier, Gilad Shalit, captive from 2006 to 2011, working to leverage greater gains from Israel in exchange for his release.

“This is key to understanding the war,” wrote Rettig Gur. “Israel isn’t speaking to the West.”

Instead, “Its message is for Hamas, and this message is the strategic heart of the war effort,” he wrote: “None of the tactics that once kept you safe apply anymore.”

The result was a prisoner swap that has so far brought 37 hostages home. If the trickle of hostages turns into a steady stream, it will be easy to question whether the cost was worth it, but harder to argue that it didn’t work.

But it has worked at a profound cost. Israel secured northern Gaza through a bombing campaign that only the most blinded apologists would call “surgical.” The stories of entire Palestinian families wiped out, and images of children limp and bloodied in their fathers’ arms: those are the cost of our celebration.

We must recognize that cost even as we debate its value. American Jews have a long, convenient history of looking away from Israeli violence. “What none of you manage to understand, for all your brains,” Amos Oz quoted an unnamed Israeli warrior saying in his seminal book In the Land of Israel, “is that the dirty work of Zionism isn’t finished yet.”

The horrors of Israel’s campaign are plastered across all of our social media accounts. Supporters of Israel must be honest about, and reckon with, the “dirty work” they represent.

A week after the start of the war, Avrum Burg, the former speaker of the Knesset in a Labor coalition, said during a Zoom talk with Peter Beinart, “If you say you do not want innocent people on your side to be killed, you’re not allowed to kill innocent people on the other side.”

But Burg didn’t have a better strategy for getting the hostages back and securing the south. And so, innocent deaths it is.

When the current ceasefire is over, things will probably get worse. That’s not a deeply insightful prediction — they have been getting worse for many years.

The Israelis, convinced by the current exchange that only an unleashed military can free more hostages, will push the fight into southern Gaza. Hamas, dug in, desperate and pumped up by Palestinian and international support, will continue holding hostages and sending rockets into Israel. Palestinian casualties will skyrocket.

I wonder, during this next phase, if there is any casualty number that will push more people like me, the tear-shedders,to oppose Gallant’s strategy. Is it 5,000 more Palestinian children? 15,000? 100,000?

I assume there is a number that tips our sadness to outrage and dissent, but I don’t know what it is — and whether there was ever a better way.

The post The uncomfortable truth behind the hostage deal: War is hell, but it worked appeared first on The Forward.


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Полковник Макгрегор: Российские войска могут дойти до польской границы


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Бывший советник Пентагона Дуглас Макгрегор заявил, что российские войска при желании могут дойти до границы с Польшей, однако это не то, что нужно президенту РФ Владимиру Путину.


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Пушков напомнил Бербок о нежелании ряда стран принимать Украину в ЕС


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Российский сенатор Алексей Пушков напомнил министру иностранных дел Германии Анналене Бербок о том, что ЕС состоит из 27 стран. И не все они мечтают о присоединении к блоку Украины, находящейся в плачевном состоянии.


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Минобороны: ПВО сбила за ночь 20 БПЛА над Центральной Россией


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Российские военные утром 26 ноября уничтожили еще девять беспилотных летательных аппаратов, которые пытались атаковать цели на территории центральной части страны. Об этом сообщили в Минобороны РФ.


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Минобороны РФ сообщило об уничтожении еще девяти украинских БПЛА


Атака пресечена над территорией Московской, Тульской, Калужской и Брянской областей, заявили в Минобороны России.

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In US, Hmong ‘New Year’ Means Recalling Old Spirits, Teaching New Generations


For the annual fall renewal of her shaman spirit, Mee Vang Yang will soon ritually redecorate the tall altar in her living room where she keeps her father’s ring-shaped shaman bells.

She carried them across the Mekong River as the family fled the communist takeover of her native Laos four decades ago. Today, they facilitate the connection to the spiritual world she needs to help fellow refugees and their American-raised children who seek restoration of lost spirits.

“Like going to church, you’re giving beyond yourself to a greater power,” said the mother of six through a translator in Hmong.

It’s the language spoken for the most important spiritual celebration in the Hmong calendar, the “Noj Peb Caug” — translated as “new year,” but literally meaning “eat 30,” because the ceremonies traditionally were tied to the fall’s post-harvest abundance shared with the clan and offered to spirits.

During new year, which is celebrated mostly in November and December among Hmong Americans, shamans send off their spirit guides to regenerate their energy for another season of healing. Male heads of households who embrace traditional animist practices perform soul-calling ceremonies, venerate ancestor spirits and invoke the protection of good spirits.

“A traditional Hmong home is not just a home, but also a place of worship,” said Tzianeng Vang, Vang Yang’s nephew, who came to Minnesota as a teen and grew up a Christian. He’s among the community leaders trying to share knowledge of these animist traditions so they won’t be lost for his children’s generation.

“You preserve it here or you have nowhere,” he said.

Moving from east to west

Persecuted as an ethnic minority in their ancestral lands in China, the Hmong fled first to the mountains of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. There, tens of thousands fought for the United States in the Vietnam War. When communist regimes swept the region, they escaped to refugee camps in neighboring Thailand and, starting in the mid-1970s, resettled largely in California farm country and Minnesota’s capital city.

The majority of the estimated 300,000 Hmong in the United States are animists and believe that spirits live throughout the physical world. That includes multiple souls in a person — any of which can leave and needs to be ceremonially called back, said Lee Pao Xiong, director of the Center for Hmong Studies at Concordia University in St. Paul.

But many younger Hmong haven’t learned the spiritual significance of cultural traditions, even popular ones like the Thanksgiving weekend dance, music and craft performances in one of St. Paul’s largest entertainment venues, Xiong said.

“It’s intricate, it’s not just ‘go to church and pray.’ There are all these spirits to atone to. It’s about spirits that you have to appease,” said Xiong, who teaches classes about these traditions, which often include the ritual slaughter of cows, pigs or chickens as an offering or an exchange of spirits.

Educating youth in ancestral culture is a crucial aim of the Hmong Cultural Center just down the street from St. Paul’s capitol, said its director, Txongpao Lee.

“They need to learn from parents and prepare for when they have children,” said Lee, who estimates about one-third of young Hmong have converted to Christianity. Acceptance of ancestral customs differs among church denominations, he added — his family’s Lutheran and Catholic members vary in participation in new year rituals.

Lee leads them for his household, though his wife, Hlee Xiong Lee, has been a shaman since she fell ill when pregnant with the fourth of her seven children. Shamans, like other traditional healers across cultures, often associate the revelation of their gift with life-threatening sickness and believe they could die if they refuse the call.

Xiong Lee’s path to shamanism has been arduous, entailing rigorous training with a shaman mentor to learn how to communicate with the spirit world. But so was her journey to the United States, arriving in a small Minnesota town as a 14-year-old refugee with no English-speaking skills, too embarrassed to ask for help getting a lunch ticket on her first day of school.

She’s proud of how her own children wear string bracelets and effortlessly explain to inquisitive teachers or classmates they’re meant to tie the family to protecting spirits.

“They’re good at adapting to my tradition and American tradition,” she said.

Connecting with spirits

Kevin Lee, a shaman’s son who says he also first started experiencing spiritual energies when he was 5, similarly has had to navigate a regular childhood in St. Paul with his ability to connect with good and bad spirits “on the other side.”

“Kids would be like, ‘this guy is weird.’ For me, it was just another day,” he said in front of the three living-room altars in the house he shares with his parents and brother.

They will be redecorated with new paper designs for the new year after his father, Chad Lee, finishes helping his shaman mentees and has time to send off his shaman spirit for a much-deserved break — short, though, because up to half a dozen people call for his help each day. Last year, his “angel” only got three days off, the older Lee said.

“Spiritual world is confusing, but once you find a path, everything is natural,” Chad Lee said.


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Hamas frees Israeli, Thai hostages in temporary truce


2023-11-26T02:57:14Z

Hamas handed over 13 Israeli hostages and four foreigners to the International Committee of the Red Cross on Saturday (November 25) night, Qatar’s foreign ministry said, after a brief disruption earlier to the deal to free captives was overcome with the mediation of Qatar and Egypt.

Thirteen Israelis and four Thai nationals arrived in Israel on Sunday in the second release of hostages from Hamas captivity in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in a deal briefly endangered by a dispute about aid delivery into Gaza.

Although overcome by the mediation of Egypt and Qatar, the dispute that threatened the truce to free captives underscored the fragility of the pact meant to release 50 hostages held by the Palestinian militant groups and 150 prisoners held in Israeli jails over four days.

Television images showed hostages on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing after leaving Gaza, as Hamas handed the captives to the International Committee of the Red Cross late on Saturday.

Six of the 13 Israelis released were women and seven were children and teenagers.

“The released hostages are on their way to hospitals in Israel, where they will re-unite with their families,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.

Israel released 39 Palestinians – six women and 33 minors – from two prisons, the Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

Some of the Palestinians arrived at Al-Bireh Municipality Square in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where thousands of citizens awaited them, a Reuters witness said.

A Palestinian official familiar with the diplomatic moves said Hamas would continue the truce, the first halt in fighting since Hamas fighters rampaged through southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking about 240 hostages.

In response to that attack, Israel has vowed to destroy the Hamas militants who run Gaza, raining bombs and shells on the enclave and launching a ground offensive in the north. Some 14,800 people, roughly 40% of them children, have been killed, Palestinian health authorities said on Saturday.

Saturday’s swap follows the previous day’s initial release of 13 Israeli hostages, including children and the elderly, by Hamas in return for the release of 39 Palestinian women and young people from Israeli prisons.

On Friday Hamas also released a Philippine national and 10 Thai farm workers.

The four Thais released on Saturday “want a shower and to contact their relatives”, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said a day later on social media platform X, adding that all were safe and showed few ill-effects.

Eighteen Thais remain captive, Thailand’s foreign ministry said on Sunday.

“I’m so happy, I’m so glad, I can’t describe my feeling at all,” Thongkoon Onkaew told Reuters by telephone, after news of the release of her 26-year-old son Natthaporn Onkaew, the family’s sole breadwinner.

The deal risked being derailed when Hamas’ armed wing said on Saturday it was delaying releases until Israel met all truce conditions, including committing to let aid trucks into northern Gaza.

Ensuring that the deal did not collapse took a day of high-stakes diplomacy mediated by Qatar and Egypt, a process U.S. President Joe Biden joined, calling Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan said only 65 of 340 aid trucks that had entered Gaza since Friday had reached northern Gaza, which was “less than half of what Israel agreed on”.

Al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas armed wing, also said Israel had failed to respect terms for the release of Palestinian prisoners that factored in their time in detention.

The IDF said the United Nations and international organisations distribute aid inside the Gaza Strip. The U.N. said 61 trucks delivered aid to northern Gaza on Saturday, the most since the war began seven weeks ago. They included food, water and emergency medical supplies.

Qatari foreign ministry spokesman Majed Al-Ansari said there had been “a lot of discussion” on how and whom to prioritise for release and that a key criterion for the Palestinian side was the length of time spent in Israeli prisons.

“We are now hopeful that, with the second or the third day of this pause, we would be able to hash out a lot of these details that made this day so difficult,” he told CNN.

Israel has said the ceasefire could be extended if Hamas continued to release at least 10 hostages a day. A Palestinian source has said up to 100 hostages could go free.

Saturday also brought hours of nail-biting waiting for the families of hostages, some of whose joy was tempered by the continued captivity of others.

“My heart is split because my son, Itay, is still in Hamas’ captivity in Gaza,” Mirit Regev, the mother of Maya Regev, one of those released late on Saturday, said in a statement from the Hostage and Missing Families Forum that represents the families.

Also released was nine-year-old Irish-Israeli hostage Emily Hand, who was initially thought to have been killed. She spent her ninth birthday in captivity and was released alongside 12-year-old Hila Rotem, whose mother remains in captivity.

“We are overjoyed to embrace Emily again, but at the same time, we remember Raya Rotem and all the hostages who have yet to return,” Hand’s family said in a statement.

Palestinians’ joy at the release of prisoners from Israeli jails was tinged with bitterness.

“I feel like I am in a dream, but I hope that the war on Gaza will stop as soon as possible,” one of them, Shorouk Dwayyat, who had served half her term of 16 years, told Al Jazeera TV from her home, saying her joy was mixed with pain.

Related Galleries:

Hostages who were abducted by Hamas gunmen during the October 7 attack on Israel, wave as they are handed over by Hamas militants to members of the International Committee of the Red Cross, as part of a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel amid a temporary truce, in an unknown location in the Gaza Strip, in this screengrab taken from video released November 26, 2023. Hamas Military Wing/Handout via REUTERS

Hostages who were abducted by Hamas gunmen during the October 7 attack on Israel, are handed over by Hamas militants to members of the International Committee of the Red Cross, as part of a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel amid a temporary truce, in an unknown location in the Gaza Strip, in this screengrab taken from video released November 26, 2023. Hamas Military Wing/Handout via REUTERS

Hostages who were abducted by Hamas gunmen during the October 7 attack on Israel, give a thumbs up as they are handed over by Hamas militants to members of the International Committee of the Red Cross, as part of a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel amid a temporary truce, in an unknown location in the Gaza Strip, in this screengrab taken from video released November 26, 2023. Hamas Military Wing/Handout via REUTERS

A hostage who was abducted by Hamas gunmen during the October 7 attack on Israel, is handed over by Hamas militants to members of the International Committee of the Red Cross, as part of a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel amid a temporary truce, in an unknown location in the Gaza Strip, in this screengrab taken from video released November 26, 2023. Hamas Military Wing/Handout via REUTERS

Hostages who were abducted by Hamas gunmen during the October 7 attack on Israel, are handed over by Hamas militants to members of the International Committee of the Red Cross, as part of a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel amid a temporary truce, in an unknown location in the Gaza Strip, in this screengrab taken from video released November 26, 2023. Hamas Military Wing/Handout via REUTERS

Released Palestinian prisoner Israa Jaabis is received by her family in her house in Jerusalem, amid a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel, November 26, 2023. REUTERS/Latifeh Abdellatif

Released Palestinian prisoner Israa Jaabis is received by her family in her house in Jerusalem, amid a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel, November 26, 2023. REUTERS/Latifeh Abdellatif

Released Palestinian prisoners react after leaving the Israeli military prison, Ofer, amid a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel, near Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank November 26, 2023. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Released Palestinian prisoners react from inside a vehicle after leaving the Israeli military prison, Ofer, amid a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel, near Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank November 26, 2023. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Released Palestinian prisoners react from inside a vehicle after leaving the Israeli military prison, Ofer, amid a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel, near Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank November 26, 2023. REUTERS/Ammar Awad



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