The first Israeli hostages to be released from Gaza happened on Friday afternoon Tel Aviv and Hamas began a four-day truce after coming to a landmark agreement.
The deal, brokered by the state of Qatar, came into force today at 5am GMT – a day later than originally scheduled. Under the agreement, 13 Israeli hostages have now been released by the militant group and transferred to Egypt by the Red Cross.
In exchange, 39 Palestinian prisoners were freed this evening in exchange for the Israeli hostages. It is the first prolonged break in fighting since the devastating war began on October 7.
A further 12 Thai nationals taken hostage by Hamas have also been released in a deal mediated by Egypt . Israel is set to free a total of 150 Palestinians over the next four days as part of the deal.
According to senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk, the ceasefire will see a temporary halt to the fighting across the whole of the region. He told Al Jazeera: “There will be no warplanes or air traffic in Gaza from 10am to 4pm.” The 13 Israelis – held for seven weeks – include four children and several elderly women. A total of 240 people were kidnapped during the October 7 attacks.
Adina Moshe, 72
She was kidnapped from her home in Kibbutz Nir Oz, after Hamas militants killed her husband Sa’id Moshe. She has four children – Maya, Yael, Sasson, and Amos – and a number of grandchildren. Her hobbies include cooking, gardening and reading.
Margalit Berta Mozes, 78
A cancer survivor, she has diabetes and fibromyalgia, and takes additional medications for blood pressure and thyroid. She is said to be a sworn nature lover, especially of birds, and loves hiking hike despite her poor health.
Last summer she went on sailing trip in northern Norway and had plans to visit Mozambique this winter. Margalit’s other hobbies include knitting.
Danielle Aloni and her five-year-old daughter Emilia
The pair were kidnapped in Nir Oz while visiting Danielle’s sister Sharon Aloni-Cunio – who was also kidnapped along with her three-year-old twins Emma and Yuli, and their father David Cunio.
On 7 October at 11am Danielle sent a “last message” to her family which said there were terrorists in the house and she was afraid they would not survive.
Ruthy Munder, 78, Keren Munder, 54, and nine-year-old Ohad Munder
Ohad was kidnapped along with his mother, Keren, while they were visiting his grandmother Ruthy, who was also seized. He reportedly turned nine while in captivity. His mother is a teacher and children’s volleyball coach. Mrs Munder senior’s hobbies are said to include knitting, painting and sewing.
Doron Katz Asher, 34, and her daughters Aviv, two, and Raz Katz Asher, four
The trio were kidnapped during a visit to relatives, including the girls’ grandmother, in Kibbutz Nir Oz. Ms Katz Asher works as an accountant.
Hanna Peri, 79
The mother-of-three immigrated to Israel from South Africa in the 1960s. She works in a grocery store. Ms Peri is said to have diabetes and suffers from severe vision loss in one eye. Her hobbies including gardening, Tai Chi and looking after her pet cat. Footage, apparently of her, being taken away on a golf buggy went viral following Hamas’s attack.
Yaffa Adar, 85
Ms Adar has three children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. One of her grandchildren, Tamir Adar, 38, was kidnapped alongside her and is still thought to be held by Hamas.
Hanna Katzir, 77
Ms Katzir has been named in Israeli media as the 13th hostage to be released on Friday.