The Israeli government has received the list of 10 hostages to be released by Hamas on Wednesday.
Their return to Israel will mark the sixth daily hostage release since a ceasefire agreement with the terror group went into effect on Nov. 24. The hostages’ families have been notified.
The announcement was made by Mousa Abu Marzouk, a senior member of the Hamas politburo.
It was unclear if the pair are also Israeli citizens. Israeli-Russian Roni Krivoi was released on Sunday following a request by Putin. He is the only Israeli man to be freed as part of the temporary ceasefire agreement reached on Nov. 24.
Sixty Israeli women and children have been freed over the course of the initial four-day ceasefire and first day of an extension agreed to on Monday, along with 17 Thais and one Filipino.
Noralin Babadill, a dual Israel-Filipino national freed on Tuesday night, is undergoing medical evaluation at a hospital in Tel Aviv.
Eight of the Israelis released on Tuesday were taken to Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan. Two other former captives were taken to Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital).
Itai Pessach, who directs Sheba’s children’s hospital, described them as “a group of extraordinary women who endured the hardships of their captivity in a remarkable fashion.”
He said that several of the women had pre-existing medical conditions, and that some suffered injuries either during their abduction on Oct. 7 or during their more than 50 days in captivity.
“Their medical situation is complex and they will need ongoing medical treatment and attention, but there is no immediate danger to any of them,” Pessach stressed.
One of the former captives, 17-year-old Mia Lemberg, was abducted along with her dog, Bella, who is staying with Mia at the hospital.
Professor David Zeltser, Ichilov’s deputy director of emergency medicine, said the two arrived in generally good physical condition.
Hamas on Monday agreed to release 10 hostages per day as part of the Qatar-brokered extension, which could last up to six days total before the IDF’s military operation against the terror group resumes.
Israel has agreed to release three jailed Palestinian terrorists for each Israeli hostage as part of the deal, which also includes the entry of humanitarian aid and fuel into the Strip.
Hamas kidnapped some 240 people during its Oct. 7 assault on southern Israel, during which thousands of gunmen murdered some 1,200 people and wounded more than 5,000 others.
Approximately 165 Israelis and foreigners are still in Hamas captivity, including Kfir Bibas, who was 9-months old when he was taken hostage on Oct. 7 along with his parents and 4-year-old brother.
Two shooting incidents on Gaza shores
Amir Bohbot, military affairs editor and senior defense analyst for Walla news, reported two security incidents off the Gaza coast over the past day.
The Israel Navy on Wednesday morning opened fire on a Palestinian boat attempting to reach the open sea from Deir al-Balah. The boat returned to shore.
This incident was preceded by an overnight attempt by another Palestinian vessel to leave the Khan Yunis marina. A naval force fired on the vessel.
Humanitarian aid continues
According to Israel’s Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit, eight tankers entered the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing on Tuesday, four carrying diesel fuel and four carrying cooking gas.
The fuel and gas are intended for operating essential humanitarian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
At the same time, 200 trucks brought humanitarian aid into the Strip through Rafah, after a security check at the Nitsana crossing in Israel. The humanitarian aid trucks contain food, water, shelter equipment and medical supplies only.
Also on Tuesday, the first of three U.S. planes carrying aid for Gaza arrived in Egypt. The Biden administration announced the arrival of an Air Force C-17 carrying 54,000 pounds of medical items, food aid and winter gear for civilians in the Gaza Strip.
It marks the first relief flight from the United States since the war started.
U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement that another two flights will arrive this week.
Thai foreign minister visits Israel, greets freed hostages
Thailand’s Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara arrived in Israel on Tuesday, where he met with President Isaac Herzog and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.
A large number of Thais live and work in Israel; about 30 were taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7, while 39 were murdered.
Seventeen of them were released over the past few days.
Herzog told Nukara, “I am pleased to see some of the Thai hostages returned from the hands of Hamas. We will continue to work to bring all the hostages home. This must be a priority for the whole world.”
Nukara joined Cohen on a visit to Shamir Medical Center in Be’er Ya’akov, where they met with the 17 freed Thai citizens.
“The brutally kidnapped foreign workers are like family to the farmers,” said Cohen. “We will give them the best medical and mental care and they will be entitled to all the [same] rights [as] the Israeli abductees.”
The Thai foreign minister said he was “overwhelmed with joy and gratitude to finally meet our fellow Thais who were recently released just days ago. They are in good spirits and ready to go home to their loved ones.”
Gallant reviews combat plans with IDF Southern Command
Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Tuesday held an operational assessment with the IDF’s Southern Command and met with combat troops from the Givati Infantry Brigade.
He reviewed operational plans for the next phase of combat against Hamas and heard from commanders and soldiers who fought in northern Gaza.
“We are working to defeat Hamas and create the conditions for the return of the hostages. So far, 50 have been released [from] inside the Gaza Strip, among them 30 children. This was achieved as a result of your actions. When you do not pressure Hamas, nothing happens, however when you do place pressure, you have something to give them,” Gallant said, speaking before the release of additional hostages on Tuesday evening.
“Use this time well. Learn all the lessons [from previous combat] and discuss the relevant lessons. Be prepared.”