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Second Swap of Israeli Hostages for Palestinian Prisoners Goes Ahead

Protestor in front of the Kirya, calling for the return of Israeli hostages taken to Gaza 14 October 2023. CC/Oren Rozen

After a snag during which Hamas accused Israel of not adhering to the term of the hostage deal, the foreign ministry of Qatar announced that the second swap of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners would go ahead after all. It said that “the obstacles were overcome through Qatari-Egyptian” mediation and the exchange is likely to happen on Saturday night. The second release is to see 39 Palestinians held in Israeli jails freed in return for 13 Israelis and 7 foreigners to be released by Hamas.

Ezz Eddin Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, had charged that Israel was not letting all of the trucks carrying humanitarian supplies into Gaza that it had agreed to, and that it was not abiding by the sequence of prisoner releases in the agreement. After the Qatari announcement, however, Hamas said it had received assurances from both Qatar and Egypt that Israel would abide by the agreement. It then confirmed that it would go ahead with the transfer of the 13 Israeli hostages.

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