Start the day smarter ☀️ How often do women giving birth at individual hospitals experience heart attacks, seizures, kidney failure, blood transfusions or other potentially deadly problems? Notable deaths in 2023 Human trafficking laws
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

12 more hostages held by Hamas are freed in Gaza, Israel says: Live updates

The process of transferring a fifth group of Hamas-held hostages to the Red Cross en route to freedom began Tuesday as the two-day extension of an uneasy truce played out in the war-battered Gaza Strip.

"A short time ago, the representatives of the Red Cross transferred the 12 abductees to Egypt," the Israeli military said in a statement posted on social media.

Ten of the freed hostages are Israeli − nine women and a 17-year-old girl − and the other two are Thai.

The statement said the convoy was headed from Egypt toward Kerem Shalom, a kibbutz along Israel's border. Security officials will verify the identity of the returning hostages and update the families. About an hour after the Israeli announcement, 30 Palestinian prisoners were released.

Eleven hostages were freed and reached Israel late Monday, and Israel released 33 Palestinian prisoners. A total of 81 women and child hostages as young as 3 have been released during a truce that began Friday, 60 of them Israelis, along with 180 women and teen Palestinians − one age 14 − from Israeli prisons.

A two-day extension of the truce called for Hamas to release 10 hostages Tuesday and 10 Wednesday. Israel was scheduled to release 30 Palestinians each day.

11 more hostages freed in Gaza:Israel-Hamas truce extended by 2 days

A Palestinian prisoner gestures among supporters and relatives after being released from an Israeli jail in exchange for Israeli hostages freed by Hamas from the Gaza Strip on Nov. 28, 2023.


∎ About two-thirds of the Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli jails since Friday were being held under administrative detention, meaning they were not told the charges against them or given due legal process, according to an analysis of Israel Prison Service data by CNN. The other third had been convicted and sentenced.

∎ The list of captives released Tuesday did not include Kfir Bibas, who at 10 months is believed to be the youngest of about 30 children Hamas kidnapped during its Oct. 7 assault. The fate of Kfir and his 4-year-old brother Ariel has become a rallying cry for Israelis demanding the hostages be freed.

∎ Relatives and a friend of Israelis kidnapped or killed by Hamas visited Australia’s Parliament House on Tuesday to lobby for support of Israel’s war effort and to increase international pressure for release of hostages held by Hamas.

Fact check:False claim that Doctors Without Borders medic helped terrorists

White House: No sign Hamas is using US hostages as leverage

The White House said it has no signs Hamas is holding on to American hostages as “leverage” following the release of 12 additional hostages from Gaza on Tuesday that included no Americans.

“There’s no indication that Hamas is trying to play some sort of game here in terms of the Americans,” said John Kirby, a White House spokesman on national security matters.

Only one American, 4-year-old Avigail Edan, has been among the more than 80 hostages released so far from Hamas captivity during a temporary cease-fire with Israel. Three U.S. citizens have been freed since Hamas kidnapped about 240 people during its Oct. 7 attack in Israel, and eight or nine Americans are believed to still be hostages in Gaza. But Kirby said only two of them are women or children who qualify for release under the truce agreement.

Kirby noted the first hostages released last month – a 17-year-old girl and her mother – were both Americans. He also said the U.S. can’t assume Hamas has access to all hostages at a moment’s notice.

Kirby said the Biden administration supports extending the current two-day cease-fire to get all hostages released. “No Americans unfortunately got out today,” Kirby said. “Tomorrow's another day, and we certainly hope that we can see some more Americans come out.”

CIA director reportedly in Qatar pressing for release of US hostages

CIA Director Bill Burns and Mossad chief David Barnea were in Qatar on Tuesday for meetings with officials from Qatar and Egypt, according to multiple media reports. The Times of Israel said talks centered around a proposal to expand the temporary truce for additional days so all women and children hostages could be released. The Washington Post said Burns is pushing for expanding the releases beyond just women and children and for the immediate release of the eight or nine Americans believed to be held by Hamas.

“We are trying to build trust and goodwill to open the door for a long-term peace and a political settlement,” a senior Egyptian official told the Wall Street Journal. “It is a long shot, but so far both sides have refrained from seeking military advantage during the pause which gives us hopes that it is doable.”

Palestinians say life in prison got worse once war started

Much like freed hostages have told stories of the spartan conditions they endured during seven weeks or more under Hamas captivity, Palestinians released from Israeli prisons as part of a swap shared their hard experiences.

Omar Abu Mayaleh spent eight months in administrative detention, Al Jazeera reported, and told the news outlet conditions were not as bad before Hamas launched the brutal Oct. 7 attack that triggered an overpowering Israeli response.

“After the war, we started living in an actual nightmare in prison,’’ Abu Mayaleh said after returning to his East Jerusalem neighborhood following his release along with 32 other prisoners early Tuesday.

Ahmad Salayme, 14, told Al Jazeera he saw fellow inmates get beaten on the first day of the war. He also said his release came with a set of conditions, and failing to adhere to them could land him back in prison.

“They told me no celebrations, and on the day of my release I’m not allowed to leave my house, raise any signs or banners, use a megaphone,” said Salayme, also from East Jerusalem. “And if I break any of these rules, I will be taken back.”

Approaching winter adds to Palestinians' woes

Displaced Palestinians in Gaza are starting to grapple with another fierce foe − the approaching winter.

The temporary truce has allowed them to go back to what's left of their homes and scour for anything to help them deal with the cooling temperatures, sometimes finding very little in the rubble.

“There is no home, as if it was erased from the map,” Yaser Felfel said in Johor al-Deek in central Gaza “I have six children, we are eight members, where do we go?”

About three-quarters of Gaza's 2.3 million residents have had to leave their homes during the Israeli offensive, the majority of them seeking shelter in the southern half of the strip. With the weather getting colder and rainy in the last two weeks, many are finding it difficult to stay warm.

“Winter has come and I have nothing for them to wear,” Hanan Tayeh said as she searched for belongings buried under her flattened home in Johor al-Deek. “It is cold, we are homeless.”

Both sides accused of violating cease-fire

Three explosive devices were detonated Tuesday by militants near Israeli troops in two northern Gaza locations in violation of the cease-fire, the Israeli military said. In one of the locations, militants also opened fire at the troops, who fired back, the military said. A "number" of soldiers were lightly injured during the incidents. Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ignore the cease-fire and have the military "crush Hamas with force."

"Hamas has now tried to murder (Israeli) soldiers in the northern Gaza Strip," Ben-Gvir said on social media. "We must not wait until our fighters are killed. We must once again act in accordance with the goal of the war: the total destruction of Hamas."

Hamas' military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, accused Israel of "a clear violation by the enemy of the truce agreement in the north of the Gaza Strip today" and said its fighters dealt with the violation.

"We are committed to the truce that the enemy committed to and we call on the mediators to pressure the occupation to comply with all the clauses of the truce on the ground and in the air," the group said in a statement on Telegram.

US military begins relief flights for Gaza

The U.S. airlifted more than 54 tons of medical supplies and food aid to Egypt on Tuesday, stepping up the humanitarian effort for Gaza during the temporary cease-fire, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement.

"This was the first of three planned deliveries in the coming days,'' he said. "These U.N. supplies will save lives and alleviate the suffering of thousands in Gaza.''

Egyptian authorities truck the aid into Gaza for distribution by U.N. agencies, the U.S. Agency for International Development said in a statement. More than 2,000 trucks of humanitarian aid have entered Gaza since Oct. 21, including 800 trucks in just the last few days while fighting temporarily halted as part of a deal between Israel and Hamas.

"The humanitarian needs in Gaza demand that the international community do much more,'' Sullivan said. "The United States is committed to this effort.''

President Joe Biden announced $100 million in humanitarian aid for Gaza last month after Israel declared war on Hamas following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. The military's humanitarian flights into Egypt follow five commercial flights into Egypt for humanitarian purposes.

Infectious diseases could add to Gaza tragedy, WHO warns

Gaza is at high risk of explosive outbreaks of infectious diseases because of intense overcrowding and the disruption of health, water and sanitation systems, the World Health Organization warned Tuesday. WHO said in a statement that food shortages are making people weak from hunger and more likely to get sick.

The agency called for an extended cease-fire, sustained access for humanitarian aid into Gaza, protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian law.

US warns Israel to curb collateral damage when war continues

Israel must work to avoid “significant further displacement” of Palestinian civilians in southern Gaza if it renews its ground campaign aimed at eradicating Hamas, senior U.S. officials said. The administration, seeking to avoid more large-scale civilian casualties or mass displacement, underscored to the Israelis that they must operate with greater precision in southern Gaza than they did in the north, the officials said, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the White House.

Netanyahu has repeatedly said Israel will eventually restart its military campaign in Gaza in an effort to crush Hamas after the Oct. 7 attack that killed about 1,200 people. The Gaza Health Ministry says the ensuing Israel assault on Gaza has killed more than 13,000 Palestinians.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Featured Weekly Ad