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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Graphics show how Israel, Hamas exchanged hostages and prisoners in fragile cease-fire

More than 250 Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners, most of them women and children, have been exchanged in a fragile four-day cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. The humanitarian pause, which began Friday, has been extended two more days.

The agreement, brokered by the U.S., Egypt and Qatar, in essence exchanges one hostage abducted by Hamas for three prisoners held by Israel. It came six weeks after Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

Hamas has released 81 women and children since Friday, USA TODAY reported. Sixty of them are Israelis, some with dual citizenship with other nations.

Israel has released 180 Palestinian prisoners, 46 women and 134 children and teens, which includes an unknown number of men ages 18 to 19.

Here is how the exchanges were made:

Hamas attacks | Oct. 7

Hamas fighters cross the Gaza-Israeli border and kill 1,200 people in brutal surprise attacks by land, sea and air on civilian targets in Israel. Militants abduct about 240 Israelis and foreign citizens from kibbutzim, military bases and a music festival.

Israeli authorities say 33 of the hostages are children. Some of them have dual citizenship with other nations, including the U.S. Officials say as many as 10 Americans are hostages.

The Israeli military responds with intense airstrikes against Gaza. Israel says it will eradicate Hamas.

Cease-fire pact | Wednesday, Nov. 22

Israel and Hamas agree to a four-day cease-fire to exchange hostages abducted by Hamas for prisoners held by Israel.

The deal says 50 hostages held by Hamas will be freed during the four days. In return, Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners, Hamas says. Both sides will release women and children first.

The cease-fire, originally set to begin Nov. 23, is delayed until Nov. 24. Some of the released hostages are dual nationals, which means they are citizens of two countries.

First exchange | Friday, Nov. 24

Hamas releases: 24 hostages, all of them women and children. The oldest person is in their 80s and the youngest is younger than 10. They are:

  • 13 Israeli women and children.
  • 10 people from Thailand.
  • 1 person from the Philippines.

All but one of the hostages were abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz.

Israel releases: 39 Palestinian prisoners − 22 women and 17 minors − from three Israeli prisons.

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Second exchange | Saturday, Nov. 25

Hamas releases: 17 hostages:

  • 13 Israelis, all of them women and children. The oldest is 67, the youngest is 3.
  • 4 people from Thailand.

Israel releases: 39 Palestinian prisoners − 6 women and 33 minors.

Third exchange | Sunday, Nov. 26

Hamas releases: 17 more hostages:

  • 12 Israelis.
  • 3 people from Thailand.
  • 1 person with Russian citizenship.
  • 1 American, Avigail Edan, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Israel, who was abducted from Kibbutz Kfar Aza. She turned 4 on Friday and was the youngest of the Americans taken hostage.

Israel releases: 39 Palestinian prisoners, all of them children and young men ages 15 to 19.

Hamas says it wants to extend the truce, scheduled to continue into Monday.

Fourth exchange | Monday, Nov. 27

Hamas releases: 11 hostages, all women and children abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz:

  • 6 people from Argentina.
  • 3 people with French-Israeli citizenship.
  • 2 people with German-Israeli citizenship.

Israel releases: 33 Palestinian prisoners − 3 women and 30 children.

Israel and Hamas agree Monday to extend the cease-fire for two more days, raising the possibility of more exchanges Tuesday and Wednesday.

Fifth exchange | Tuesday, Nov. 28

Hamas releases: 12 hostages − 10 Israelis and 2 foreign nationals:

  • 9 Israeli women.
  • 1 Israeli teen.
  • 2 Thai nationals.

Israel releases: 30 Palestinian prisoners − 15 women and 15 children.


SOURCE USA TODAY Network reporting and research; Associated Press

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