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Palestinian teens freed; hopes for extended hostage deal

  • 39 Palestinians Freed
  • Final Exchange Monday
  • Hamas Considers Extension

A total of 39 Palestinians were successfully transferred from Israeli prisons in the third round of negotiations involving detainees held in Gaza.

As a component of the agreement that facilitated the return of forty Israeli hostages abducted on October 7, they were released.

This increases the total of Palestinians liberated since the initial exchange on Friday to 117.

A final exchange is scheduled for Monday by the current agreement between Israel and Hamas. However, this date is subject to extension.

Among the most recent Palestinian detainees to be released was 16-month-incarcerated adolescent Mohammed Al-Awar. His mother expressed ambivalent sentiments regarding his release.

“Due to the enormous number of lives lost in Gaza, our joy is insufficient,” she said in a video depicting their reunion.

Although Abdurahman Al-Zaghal, another adolescent, was also liberated, he was not present with the others. This was because he was undergoing medical treatment in an Israeli hospital.

In August, his uncle said he was shot in the head and shrapnel hit his lower body while buying bread. According to Israeli authorities, he was attempting to detonate a petrol explosive at a settlement post in the vicinity.

Al-Zaghal’s trial was conducted in his absence due to his continued presence in intensive care.

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Public Reception and Celebration

Sunday found him detaching an electronic bracelet from his lower limb.

Similar to previous evenings of prisoner exchanges, sizable audiences gathered in the streets of the West Bank, the initial location where detainees are being returned, to welcome the coaches transporting the released inmates.

Some liberated people are photographed being carried by crowd members while waving Palestinian flags.

According to the agreement reached with Hamas, 300 Palestinian prisoners, the majority of whom are teenage males, have been enumerated by Israel as being eligible for release.

Progress and Challenges in the Exchange

In exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners, Hamas was to release fifty Israeli hostages, including women and children, over four days throughout a ceasefire, as per an agreement facilitated with Qatar’s assistance.

Forty Israeli detainees and eighteen foreign nationals have been liberated thus far.

Israel previously stated that if a minimum of ten Israelis were to be released daily, the truce could be extended. Meanwhile, the government has vowed to eliminate Hamas and said any pause in its attacks was temporary.

Hamas declared its intention to extend the agreement and increase the number of hostages released on Sunday.

According to a senior Palestinian official with knowledge of the Qatari negotiations, the group has informed mediators of its willingness to extend the pause by two to four days, with the possibility that this could result in the liberation of an additional twenty to forty Israeli detainees.

Netanyahu’s Perspective on the Agreement

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the framework deal a “blessed thing” and suggested extending it.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman, the prime minister of Qatar, told the Financial Times that to secure an extension, the group would be required to locate dozens of detainees held in Gaza by other groups.

Approximately 240 individuals who were abducted in the October 7 attacks are believed to be in the custody of Hamas, an Islamist organization sponsored by Iran that has been designated a terrorist organization by the European Union, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Despite this, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which participated, holds some.

An estimated 1,200 individuals, predominantly civilians, were slain in the raid on October 7, according to Israel.

In retaliation for the assault, Israel has relentlessly bombed and destroyed Gaza’s infrastructure.

Hamas reports that nearly 15,000 people, including many minors, have perished. Consequently, important humanitarian provisions, including food, water, and hygiene kits, are in critical need.

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