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Gaza: Ahed Tamimi, Palestinian prisoners freed under truce

Gaza: 30 Palestinian prisoners, including Ahed Tamimi, freed under truce deal
32 min read
29 November, 2023
30 Palestinian prisoners have been released amid the ongoing truce expansion deal between Hamas and Israel, including renowned resistance icon Ahed Tamimi.
30 Palestinians were released late on Wednesday, hours before the truce deal is set to expire [Getty/file photo]

Thirty Palestinian prisoners were freed overnight Wednesday, Israeli prison authorities said, in the final exchange under an extended truce deal due to expire within hours.

"During the night, 30 male and female security prisoners were released from a number of prison facilities," the country's prison service said in a statement.

Among those freed was Ahed Tamimi, a 22-year-old activist who has become a key figure for Palestinians defying the Israeli occupation.

She was detained over an Instagram post, which her family denies she made, that Israeli sources said called for the massacre of Israelis and made reference to Hitler.

Her mother Narimane, whose husband has also been detained, said Ahed was not even able to open a social media account.

The overnight releases, which came after a sixth batch of hostages were freed from Gaza, bring the number of Palestinian prisoners freed by Israel under a truce deal to 210.

Hamas and other militants in Gaza have released 70 Israelis under the deal, along with nearly 30 hostages of other nationalities outside the truce framework.

The released hostages and prisoners have been greeted with celebrations by friends and family, but clashes have erupted for several nights between Palestinians and Israeli security forces outside the Ofer Prison.

A truce between Israel and Hamas entered its sixth day on Wednesday after additional hostages were released in exchange for Palestinian detainees, with mediators pushing for a more "sustainable" ceasefire.

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Hamas started handing over more Israeli hostages on Tuesday to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a Palestinian official said, on the fifth day of the extended six-day truce.

 The Al Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, said on its Telegram account that it also handed over 'some civilian detainees' as part of an exchange deal with Israel.

The final 24 hours of the extended agreement begins later on Wednesday, with one more exchange of hostages for prisoners expected, but mediator Qatar said it was hoping for a more durable arrangement.

"Our main focus right now, and our hope, is to reach a sustainable truce that will lead to further negotiations and eventually to an end... to this war," foreign ministry spokesman Majed Al Ansari told a Doha news conference.

"However, we are working with what we have. And what we have right now is the provision to the agreement that allows us to extend days as long as Hamas is able to guarantee the release of at least 10 hostages."

The truce agreement has brought a temporary halt to Israel's aggression on the besieged enclave, which has so far killed nearly 15,000 Palestinians, mostly children and women, and rendered large parts of the territory's north uninhabitable.