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Israel - Hamas War : More Israeli hostages, Palestinian prisoners expected to be freed as ceasefire continues
According to Israeli calculations, Hamas abducted 240 captives during an Oct. 7 assault into southern israel, killing 1,200 people, forcing israel to counter by bombing the coastal enclave and initiating a combat offensive in its north.
The israel Jail service announced the release of 33 Palestinian inmates from Israel's Ofer jail in the West bank and a detention facility in Jerusalem on monday, bringing the total number of Palestinians released since friday to 150.
According to the Palestinian health ministry, Israeli police fought with some of the hundreds of Palestinians who gathered outside Ofer jail in Ramallah in the occupied West bank to demand the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Some demonstrators carried Hamas and Islamic Jihad flags, two Palestinian extremist groups. According to the ministry, a Palestinian was murdered in the region, although it was unclear whether he was involved in the hostilities. According to Palestinian media, he was assassinated. There was no immediate response from israel to the event.
Following the Oct. 7 incident, israel pummelled Gaza and launched a military incursion in the north. According to Gaza's Hamas-run administration, more than 15,000 Palestinians have been murdered, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced. Qatar, which, together with Egypt, has mediated indirect discussions between the two parties, announced an agreement to extend the initial four-day truce, which was set to expire on monday, by two days.
"We have an extension... two more days," Qatar's UN Ambassador Alya ahmed Saif Al-Thani told reporters following a closed-door Security Council meeting, adding that both parties were planning to release additional individuals. "This is a very positive step."
Since the truce's start on friday, Hamas has released some hostages while israel has released several Palestinians. There were 51 Israelis and 18 foreigners among the 69 hostages released by Hamas.
Ido Dan, a cousin of Israelis Sahar Calderon, 16, and Erez Calderon, 12, expressed excitement at their release on monday, but expressed concern about their father, Ofer, who remains detained.