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Hamas begins release of 6th group of hostages, 2 out of 12 Israelis are freed

Further extension of truce hasn’t been confirmed yet

 
A Red Cross vehicle, as part of a convoy carrying hostages abducted by Hamas militants during the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, arrives at the Rafah border, amid a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel, in the southern Gaza Strip, Nov. 29, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Two out of 12 hostages scheduled to be released from captivity on Wednesday as part of the truce agreement were freed by Hamas terrorists and reached Israeli territory, the Israeli army said.

According to the list of hostages sent to Israel earlier on Wednesday, seven children and five women were set to be released in the sixth group.

The IDF initially only confirmed that two of the hostages, whom Hamas claimed were dual Russian-Israeli citizens, had been released. They were identified as Yelena Trupanov, who was featured in a propaganda video released by Hamas some weeks ago, and her mother Irena Tati, both from Kibbutz Nir Oz.

Earlier in the day, Hamas had announced it would include two Russian citizens in the release as a show of appreciation for Russian President Vladimir Putin, in addition to the 10 hostages originally planned to be released on Wednesday.

The Bibas family, which was taken into captivity together, was not part of the release.

Earlier today, Hamas issued a statement saying that the mother, Shiri Bibas, and her two sons, 4-year-old Ariel and 10-month-old Kfir, were killed in an Israeli airstrike.

The IDF said they are investigating the claims but noted that Hamas has a history of issuing false statements regarding hostages as part of a policy of psychological warfare.

Meanwhile, Israel will release 15 female Palestinian prisoners and 15 prisoners under the age of 19 in exchange for the release of Israel's hostages, according to Palestinian sources.

Among those set to be released is Ahed Tamimi, a prominent Palestinian activist arrested three weeks ago for a threatening and inciting social media post.

The two-day extension to the original four-day truce between Israel and Hamas will expire today.

Despite no official announcement about another extension to the truce yet, Israel has stated it would be willing to continue the pause in fighting if, before midnight, it is presented with another list of hostages to be released on Thursday, Army Radio reported.

This is a developing story.

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

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