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Hamas releases 8 more hostages from Gaza

About 100 hostages have been released by Hamas to Israel as fighting has paused during the last week.
Hamas releases 6 more hostages, bringing Thursday total to 8
Posted at 7:26 AM, Nov 30, 2023

Hamas released six more hostages Thursday afternoon, adding to the two released earlier in the day and bringing Thursday's total to eight.

The Israeli military said all of the hostages had been returned to Israel for medical evaluation and would be reunited with their families.

Israel released another group of Palestinian prisoners on Thursday, maintaining its end of the agreement that has pushed a tenuous cease-fire into its eighth day.

The truce is currently scheduled to end on Friday, but negotiators are working to continue it. Israel has promised to resume its fight against Hamas when the agreement does end.

Hostage release agreements may become more difficult going forward, as Hamas is expected to make greater demands to secure the release of civilian men and soldiers.

Some 140 people are thought to still be held hostage by Hamas.

In previous days, Hamas has released 10 hostages in exchange for 30 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. 

Thirty Palestinians were again released on Thursday, according to a Qatari officials assisting in the negotiations. 

There is hope that this second extension could mean a longer cease-fire.

Hamas released 16 more hostages on Wednesday, bringing the total to about 100 in the last week. Among the latest batch released yesterday was a 49-year-old American Israeli citizen.

She is the second American freed by Hamas. At least eight other Americans remain in captivity. Nine Israelis, four Thai nationals and two people with dual citizenship in Israel and Russia were also released late Wednesday.

SEE MORE: Families of Americans held hostage by Hamas return to Washington

As part of the agreement, Israel has released more than 200 Palestinians who were being held in Israeli prisons. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is back in Israel for the third time since the start of the war. He's expected to press Israeli leaders to dial back the military's bombardment of Gaza.

More than 5,000 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, including some children. Some Democrats in Congress want to make additional military aid for Israel contingent on the country agreeing to limit civilian casualties.

Blinken said the U.S. would prefer a longer cease-fire.

Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces warned Gazans not to return to Northern Gaza during the cease-fire. IDF says the area remains a "war zone" and Gazans should remain in Southern Gaza.

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