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Fourth group of hostages released after intense negotiations - 11 more Israelis on their way home

9-month-old baby Kfir Bibas not among those released

 
Red Cross vehicles carrying released hostages who were the first to be released in a deal with Hamas, seen at Rafah crossing, Gaza Strip, November 24, 2023. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90

On the fourth and final day of the original hostage deal between Israel and the Hamas terror organization, 11 Israeli and six Thai hostages have been released in the Gaza Strip on Monday evening.

Personnel from the International Red Cross made their way inside the Gaza Strip to transfer the hostages to Red Cross vehicles, Israeli media reported.

Red Cross took the hostages into Egypt through the Rafah Border Crossing, where they were met by Israeli representatives and then brought to Israel.

Today’s list of hostages includes nine children and two elderly women.

From the Cunio family:
Sharon Aloni Cunio, 33
Emma Cunio, 3
Yuli Cunio, 3
(Father David Cunio remains captive in Gaza)

From the Engel family:
Karina Engel-Bart, 51
Mika Engel, 18
Yuval Engel, 10
(Father Ronen Engel remains captive in Gaza)

From the Calderon family:
Sahar Calderon, 16
Erez Calderon, 12
(Father Ofer Calderon remains captive in Gaza)

From the Yaakov family:
Or Yaakov, 16
Yagil Yaakov, 12
(Father Yair Yaakov and girlfriend Meirav Tal remain captive in Gaza)

From the Yahalomi family:
Eitan Yahalomi, 12
(Father Ohad Yahalomi remains captive in Gaza)

The fourth list of hostages released was agreed upon by both sides after hours-long intense negotiations mediated by Qatar, Egypt and the United States.

The negotiations were successful, due in part to the efforts of the IDF's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj.-Gen. Ghassan Alian, who flew to Cairo in the morning to negotiate in person, Kan News reported.

Hamas sent today’s list later than expected, after which Israel identified problems with the list, which then led to drawn-out discussions.

Israel complained that Hamas had violated the terms of the agreement by separating mothers from their children at the time of release, which was then rectified through the negotiations, Army Radio reported.

Later in the afternoon, the Prime Minister’s Office stated: “Pursuant to receiving the list of hostages slated for release today (Monday, 27 November 2023), in the framework of the outline, the information has been conveyed to the hostages’ families.”

The negotiations were also delayed by parallel negotiations about an extension of the agreement, including a pause in fighting. The negotiations were successful, Israeli media reported in the evening.

The hostages’ families weren’t updated about the names on the list ahead of time and the Bibas family expressed its disappointment after learning that 9-month-old Kfir Bibas will not be released on Monday.

“We, the family of Shiri, Yarden, Kfir and Ariel Bibas, are currently experiencing great moments of uncertainty. The realization that we will not receive the hug we longed for so much now leaves us speechless. We are happy for all the families who have been reunited with their loved ones. We will not stop the fight for the return of our loved ones to Israel. Thank you all for your support.”

Shiri and Yarden Bibas and their children Kfir and Ariel (4) were kidnapped on Oct. 7 from their home in Kibbutz Nir Oz. The two young red-haired boys have since become a symbol of the cruelty of the Hamas terrorists

This is a developing story.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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