More Prisoners Exchanged as Critical Talks on Extended Ceasefire Continue in Doha

Families of Palestinian prisoners awaiting the arrival of the Red Cross bus in Ramallah. (Photo: Video grab, AJA)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Ten Israeli captives were released by Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Resistance Movement Hamas, late on Wednesday. Later, 30 Palestinian civilians were freed from Israeli prisons. 

The freeing of the Israelis happened later than usual, for reasons that remain unexplained. 

Some analysts suggest that the delay was intentional, due to Israel’s repeated violations of the ceasefire agreement between the Palestinian Resistance and the Israeli army. 

Earlier in the evening, two Russian women were released, though their release took place outside the truce agreement and through direct contacts between Moscow and Gaza. 

The release of captives today included four Thai workers who were also released unconditionally by the Resistance.

Hours after the Red Cross confirmed the release of Israelis, Palestinian detainees began to experience freedom themselves. They included 16 children and 14 women. Some of them have been held and tortured by the Israeli administration for years. 

The freed Palestinians included iconic Palestinian leader Hanadi Halawani. 

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Hours before their release, the same episode was repeated, where Israeli forces and police raided Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, threatening detainees and their families that they must not celebrate their freedom. 

Yet, every time hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets in jubilation to receive the Red Cross bus transporting freed detainees. And despite clashes with the Israeli army, celebrations continue into very late hours of the night. 

Talks about extending the ceasefire – which began with four days, starting on Friday, November 24, followed by two more days, which ended on Wednesday night – continue. 

Spokesman for the Qatari foreign ministry, Majed al-Ansari, has said that the coming hours could see another extension of the ceasefire. 

CIA chief William Burns is still in Qatar to discuss additional ceasefires, and, according to a statement, “an expansive deal”. 

He is joined by the head of the Egyptian intelligence, along with the head of the Israeli Mossad.

Top Hamas official Basem Naim said on Wednesday that the movement is willing to exchange all captured Israeli soldiers with all Palestinian detainees inside Israeli prisons.

Hamas sources say that the movement has divided the remaining Israeli captives and prisoners into categories, which include older male prisoners, civilian males, female military personnel, military reserve male soldiers, and active military personnel.

Israel is yet to clarify its position on the issue. 

(The Palestine Chronicle) 

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