Palestinian detainees freed as Hamas releases Israeli hostages

Palestinian detainees freed as Hamas releases Israeli hostages
The exchange of Palestinians and Israelis has begun as part of the truce deal between Israel and Hamas, with 12 Thai workers held captive have so far been released
26 min read
24 November, 2023
Gaza truce appears to hold shakily as Israel, Hamas start ceasefire [Getty]

Thailand's prime minister has announced that the 12 Thai hostages held by Hamas have been released, as part of the first major reprieve during seven weeks of a war that have claimed thousands of lives in Gaza.

The first tranche of 13 women and children Israeli hostages have been handed over to the Red Cross and are expected to go back to Israel via Egypt, AFP reports. 

Qatar also confirmed the release of 39 Palestinian women and children held in Israeli jails. They were transferred to the Israeli-run Ofer prison in the occupied West Bank and then returned to a joyful welcome from their families.

Families gathered outside all evening anxiously awaiting the return of their loved ones.

Hamas and Israel had agreed to silence guns and stop bombings from 7:00 am (0500 GMT), as the women and children held hostage in Gaza were due to be freed at 4:00 pm, followed by a number of Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails, according to Qatari mediators.

Israel is set to release around 150 Palestinian women and child prisoners.

Aid trucks were also seen entering the Gaza Strip from Egypt around 1-1/2 hours after the truce began, as reported by Reuters TV.

Two of the trucks, representing Egyptian organisations, sported banners that said, "Together for Humanity." Another said: "For our brothers in Gaza."

Egypt has said 130,000 litres of diesel and four trucks of gas will be delivered daily to Gaza when the truce starts, and that 200 trucks of aid would enter Gaza daily.

Earlier this morning, Israeli forces opened fire in the area around Gaza's Al-Rantisi Hospital as displaced citizens attempted to return to their homes in the north.

Al Jazeera reported on Friday that the pediatric hospital was facing attacks, despite a four-day truce in the Israel's war on Gaza being declared to begin on Friday. 

At dawn, thousands of people who had fled to areas near Gaza's border with Egypt were preparing to return to their villages, following the truce deal set to bring promises of respite from weeks of sustained Israeli bombardment.

However, Israeli warplanes over southern Gaza dropped leaflets warning people not to head back to the north, according to news agency AFP. 

"The war is not over yet," the leaflets read. "Returning to the north is forbidden and very dangerous!!!"

The Palestinian government in Gaza says Israel's bombardment of Gaza has so far killed 14,854 Palestinians, including 6,150 children and over 4,000 women, according to the Palestinian government media office in Gaza.

According to the United Nations, 1.7 million of the territory's 2.4 million people are estimated to have been displaced.

WHO voices concern over fate of Gaza hospital chief
10:37 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The World Health Organization on Friday voiced concern over the fate of the head of Gaza City's Al-Shifa hospital, whom Israeli forces have detained

In a statement the WHO said that the head of the biggest hospital in the besieged and indiscriminately bombed Palestinian territory had been arrested on Wednesday along with five other health workers, while they were taking part in a UN mission to evacuate patients.

"Three medical personnel from the Palestine Red Crescent Society and three from the Ministry of Health were detained," the WHO said.

Since then two of the six have reportedly been released, but "we do not have information about the well-being of the four remaining health staff, including the director of Al-Shifa hospital," the statement added.

The UN agency called for "their legal and human rights to be fully observed during their detention".

Hospital director Mohammad Abu Salmiya has been frequently quoted by international media about the conditions inside Al-Shifa, a major focus of the Israeli ground offensive on Gaza.

Biden says Gaza hostages release 'only a start'
8:03 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US President Joe Biden said Friday's release of a first group of hostages taken by Hamas was just a "start" and that there were "real" chances to extend a temporary truce in Gaza.


Speaking to reporters in Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he was spending the Thanksgiving holiday with his family, Biden also said it was time to "renew" work on creating two-state solution for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Barcelona cuts ties with Israel
6:23 PM
The New Arab Staff

The city council of Barcelona has decided to cut ties with Israel.

The Barcelona City Council said that relations would be suspended until there was a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and Israel "respects the basic rights of the Palestinian people".

Barcelona had previously suspended ties with Israel in February 2023 but restored them last September.

Buses of Palestinian detainees have arrived from Ofer prison
5:48 PM
The New Arab Staff

All women and children who are expected to be the first group of released Palestinians who were detained by Israel have arrived in the city of Beitounia near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

At least 39 prisoners are expected to be released as part of the truce deal between Israel and Hamas.

A total of 28 prisoners were released in the occupied West Bank, an AFP correspondent saw, while the other 11 were on their way to annexed east Jerusalem.

EU's von der Leyen: Extremism in West Bank must stop
5:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said that rising violence by extremists in the Israeli-occupied West Bank had to stop.

"We must prevent violence from spreading, and therefore a peaceful co-existence is only possible with the two-state solution," Von der Leyen told a news conference in Canada alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and European Council President Charles Michel.

"The Palestinian people and the Arab neighbours need the reassurance that there will be no forced displacement but a viable perspective, with an independent Palestinian state- Gaza and West Bank reunited- and governed by a reformed Palestinian authority. And to this end, unacceptable violence by extremists in the West Bank has to stop," she added.

US Embassy in Lebanon: There have been '12 hours of calm'
5:41 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The US embassy in Lebanon has said there had been 12 hours of calm along the Blue Line marking the border with Israel, where daily exchanges of fire had been taking place between armed group Hezbollah and Israel.

The frontier had been quiet since early Friday morning, residents said, apart from a small spray of fire from the Israeli side. It followed a temporary truce brokered by Qatar between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which did not formally extend to Lebanon.

Israel has banned selling candy over Palestinians' release
5:32 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian Prisoner Club, which monitors detainees' affairs, have instructed fierce conditions for Palestinian detainees and their families from occupied East Jerusalem that will be released.

Restrictions include a ban on distributing candy as part of celebrations amongst loved ones. 

Additionally, prisoners and their families are also forbidden from speaking to the media, hold community gatherings or displaying any form of celebration. 

Violation of these conditions will be an implementation of a 70,000 Israeli shekels ($18,700) fine, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Club. 

Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has said earlier that he would crack down on any attempt to celebrate the releases of Palestinian women and children in Jerusalem.

Ben Gvir reportedly told police commissioner Kobi Shabtai to use “an iron fist” against attempts to celebrate prisoner releases, local Israeli media states.

He also called for the police force to increase their presence near the homes of those expected to be released. 

Palestinian detainees departing from Ofer prison
5:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

Buses carrying released Palestinian prisoners leave Ofer prison, Al Jazeera reports.

More to come.

Captives released from Gaza in 'good' health
5:25 PM
The New Arab Staff

Magen David Adom, Israel's national emergency service, has confirmed to Israeli Army Radio that hostages received by the Red Cross are "in good and reasonable" health. 

Eli Bin, Magen David Adom's general director, said initial assessments conducted after speaking with the Red Cross showed the captives were doing well. 

Hamas released the first group of hostages via the Red Cross in the Rafah border crossing in Egypt. Local Israeli media said that the captives would be taken to hospitals in Israel for further assessment. 

Israeli officials added the hostages that require urgent medical care would be taken to Soroka Medical Centre in Beersheba- while captives that do not urgently need medical care would be taken to other hospitals across Israel, such as the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.

List of 13 Israeli captives published by Israel PM's office
5:22 PM
The New Arab Staff

Following Israeli forces confirmed the 13 released Israeli captives having crossed back into Israel, the list of all 13 Israelis have been published:

  1. Doron Katz-Asher, 34
  2. Raz Asher, 4
  3. Aviv Asher, 2
  4. Daniel Aloni, 45
  5. Amelia Aloni, 5
  6. Ruth Munder, 78
  7. Keren Monder, 54
  8. Ohad Monder, 9
  9. Adina Moshe, 72
  10. Hanna Katzir, 76
  11. Margalit Mozes, 77
  12. Hanna Perry, 79
  13. Yaffe Adar, 85
First photos of released hostages arriving at Rafah
5:18 PM
The New Arab Staff

Media outlets have released footage and images showing the arrival of freed captives at the Rafah border crossing.

Israel: Released captives are ‘on Israeli territory'
5:03 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces have announced in a post that the captives are being escorted by Israeli forces and Shin Bet agents.

The post added the captives would be accompanied until they have been reunited with their families at Israeli hospitals.

Qatar: '39 women and children’ freed from Israeli jails
4:46 PM
The New Arab Staff

The spokesperson for Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that the release of “39 women and children” has taken place from Israeli prisons.

In a post on X, Majed al-Ansari confirmed that this is in accordance with commitments that had agreed upon for the first day of the truce.


Evacuated wounded patients from al-Ahli Hospital head south
4:29 PM
The New Arab Staff

 The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) says that says it has helped evacuate “a number of wounded and sick people” along with companions from the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City to southern Gaza.

PRCS added that those evacuated are set to be relocated to the European Hospital in Khan Younis, with help from UN teams.

Meanwhile, at least 120 wounded individuals remain inside al-Ahli, as the aid group said that they are unable to leave.

More from Qatar's foreign ministry and ICRC
4:24 PM
The New Arab Staff

Qatar has confirms hostages released by Hamas are 13 Israelis, 10 Thais and one Filipino.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also says that it has successfully facilitated the release of 24 people from Gaza and have transported them to the Rafah border crossing. 

Red Cross begins operation to release hostages, detainees
4:19 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The International Red Cross confirmed on Friday that its teams had started carrying out a multi-day operation to facilitate the release and transfer of hostages held in Gaza and of Palestinian detainees.

A spokesperson confirmed that 24 hostages were transferred out of Gaza and handed over to Egyptian authorities at the Rafah border crossing.

He said they were accompanied by eight staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in a four-car convoy.

"The deep pain that family members separated from their loved ones feel is indescribable. We are relieved that some will be reunited after long agony," said Fabrizio Carboni, the ICRC's regional director for the Near and Middle East.

No further details were given. The ICRC, a neutral, Swiss-based organisation, also says the operation also involves the delivery of additional, much-needed aid into Gaza.

Captives filmed leaving through Rafah border crossing
4:16 PM
The New Arab Staff

Footage has been released by Arab media outlets showing a group of people who were released from Gaza who are now heading towards the Rafah crossing from Egypt. 

The group released from Gaza today consist of 13 Israeli women and children along with 12 Thai nationals. 

One of the captives can be seen waving to groups of people who were gathered along the route.

12 nationals entered Israel: Thai foreign ministry
4:01 PM
The New Arab Staff

Thailand’s foreign ministry have issued the following statement, as reported by Al Jazeera:

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand has been notified by the Royal Thai Embassy, Tel Aviv, that 12 Thai nationals who were held hostage have been released, and have entered Israel via the Rafah Border Crossing. They are being transported to the processing point at Hatzerim Air Force Base. At this time, the gender and names of these Thais are not known.

“The 12 Thais will be taken to Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh), where they will be met by Embassy officials. They are required to be under medical supervision for a period of 48 hours, without access to outsiders.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand sends its heartfelt congratulations to these 12 Thai nationals and their families, and will do all possible to expedite their return to Thailand.

“The Royal Thai Government expresses its thanks to all from whom it sought assistance in securing the release of these first hostages, namely the Governments of Qatar, Israel, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, and the ICRC. It is our deep hope that all remaining hostages will be taken care of, and will be safely released at the earliest opportunity.”

Hamas' Haniyah: Release of prisoners is “the first relief”
3:54 PM
The New Arab Staff

The head of Hamas' political bureau Ismail Haniyah confirms the group's commitment to the truce deal, as long as Israel adheres to it, during his speech on Friday.

Haniyah added that “the enemy agreed to the conditions of resistance and the will of our proud people, which led to the truce agreement.” 

"With the sponsorship of Qatar and Egypt, we entered into difficult and arduous negotiations over the past weeks in consultation with the resistance factions, in an effort to protect our people and fulfill their needs in the face of the policy of starvation, siege, and suffocation."

"Over the previous period, the brothers in both Egypt and Qatar made tireless efforts and active diplomacy, until this agreement was reached, and we, in turn, express our sincere thanks to the two honorable countries, and affirm our readiness to continue working with them to achieve a comprehensive cessation of the aggression against Gaza," he continued.

Israeli forces storm homes of Palestinian detainees
3:47 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces were filmed storming the homes of Palestinian prisoners from occupied East Jerusalem who are set to be released as part of a prisoner swap deal, Al Jazeera reports.

Footage captured by Al Jazeera Arabic demonstrated how a Jerusalem based correspondent and cameraman were faced with aggression by soldiers during a live report outside the home of prisoner Amani Khaled Noman Hashem.

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir had previously said he would crack down on attempts to 'celebrate' the detainees' releases in Jerusalem.

Israeli FM calls out Belgian and Spanish leaders
3:40 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel's foreign minister Eli Cohen says on X that the Belgian and Spanish ambassadors were summoned due to Cohen's accusation of “false claims” made, following the Spanish and Belgian prime ministers' remarks on the Gaza war.

He added that a “harsh rebuke” would be received and that “Israel is acting according to international law and fighting a murderous terrorist organization worse than ISIS that commits war crimes and crimes against humanity”.

Spanish PM Sanchez and Belgian PM De Croo made a visit to the region, where they urged Israel to do more to protect the lives of civilians in Gaza and that it must adhere to international law.

“Israel has the right to defend itself. However, this right cannot encompass the deaths of innocent civilians, including thousands of children, in Gaza,” Sanchez said during his visit.

Captives to meet Israel's security services in Egypt
3:38 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

According to the Israeli Broadcasting Authority, the freed Israeli captives are currently meeting representatives of Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency on the Rafah crossing in Egypt.

List of Palestinians set to be freed has been published
3:29 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Palestinian Detainees Affairs Commission has released the names of the first group of Palestinians that are due to be released as part of the prisoner swap deal agreed between Hamas and Israel.

The first group consists of 24 women and 15 minors, as 11 are originally based in occupied East Jerusalem while the other 28 Palestinians are from different cities across occupied West Bank. 

Additional groups of around 40 prisoners are also  scheduled to be released everyday for the next three days. 

Here's the full list of Friday's group:

Youssef Muhammad Mustafa Atta - Ramallah

Qusay Hani Ali Ahmed - Bethlehem

Jibril Ghassan Ismail Jibril - Qalqilya

Muhammad Ahmed Suleiman Abu Rajab - Hebron

Ahmed Numan Ahmed Abu Naim - Ramallah

Baraa Bilal Mahmoud Rabai - Hebron

Aban Iyad Muhammad Saeed Hammad - Qalqilya

Moataz Hatem Musa Abu Aram - Hebron

Iyad Abdel Qader Muhammad Khatib - Jerusalem 

Laith Khalil Othman Othman - Ramallah

Muhammad Mahmoud Ayoub Dar Darwish - Ramallah

Jamal Khalil Jamal Barahma - Jericho

Jamal Youssef Jamal Abu Hamdan - Nablus

Muhammad Anis Salim Turabi - Nablus

Abd al-Rahman Abd al-Rahman Suleiman Rizq - Jerusalem

Rawan Nafez Muhammad Abu Matar - Ramallah

Marah Jawdat Musa Bakir - Jerusalem

Malak Muhammad Yusuf Suleiman - Jerusalem

Amani Khaled Noman Hashem - Jerusalem

Nihaya Khader Hussein Sawan - Jerusalem

Fayrouz Fayez Mahmoud Al-Bo - Jerusalem

Tahrir Adnan Muhammad Abu Sariya - Nablus

Filistin Farid Abdel Latif Najm - Nablus

Walaa Khaled Fawzi Tanga - Tulkarm

Maryam Khaled Abdel Majeed Arafat - Nablus

Aseel Munir Ibrahim Al-Titi - Nablus

Azhar Thaer Bakr Assaf - Jerusalem

Raghad Nashaat Salah Al-Fanni - Tulkarm

Fatima Numan Ali Badr - Jerusalem

Rawda Musa Abdel-Qader Abu Ajamiya - Bethlehem

Sarah Ayman Abdel Aziz Abdullah Al-Suwaisa - Nablus

Fatima Ismail Abdel Rahman Shaheen - Bethlehem

Samira Abdel Harbawi - Jerusalem

Samah Bilal Abdel Rahman Sof / Qalqilya

Fatima Bakr Musa Abu Shalal - Nablus

Hanan Saleh Abdullah Al-Barghouti - Ramallah

Fatima Nasr Muhammad Amarneh - Jenin

Zeina Raed Abdo - Jerusalem

Nour Muhammad Hafez Al-Taher - Nablus

Hamas sources confirm hostages handed over to Egypt: AFP
3:12 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Two Hamas sources told AFP that some of the hostages seized in the October 7 raids on Israel were on Friday handed over to the Red Cross for return to Israel, via Egypt.

"Half an hour ago, the prisoners were handed to the Red Cross who will take them to the Egyptians" at the Rafah crossing, one of the sources said.

"They were handed over to the Egyptian side," the source added.

A source in the military wing of Hamas confirmed the handover, adding: "This is the first group under the agreement."

Israel: 13 Israelis have been handed to the Red Cross
3:02 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The first group of Israelis held in Gaza have arrived. Staff from the International Committee of the Red Cross are in ambulances to make way out of Gaza through the Rafah crossing, an Israeli official tells the Times of Israel.

Israeli forces fire teargas at Palestinians near Ofer prison
2:53 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Local Palestinian media have reported Israeli forces firing tear gas at journalists and the families of detained Palestinians at Israel’s Ofer prison in the occupied West Bank.

Locals and press teams are still waiting for the arrival of Palestinians, as 39 Palestinian women and teenage boys are set for their release under the Hamas-Israel deal.

Israeli hostages on route to the Red Cross in Gaza
2:33 PM
The New Arab Staff

Local Israeli TV stations are claiming that the Israeli captives have been transferred to the Red Cross in Gaza and are making their way to the crossing with Egypt.

There has not been any updates yet on the release of Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

Thais held in Gaza released: Thai PM
2:21 PM
The New Arab Staff

Thai prime minister Srettha Thavisin has announced that 12 citizens from the country that were held by Hamas have been released.

"It has been confirmed by the Security Department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that there are 12 Thai hostages already released. Embassy officials are on their way to pick them up in another hour. They should know their names and details. Please stay tuned," he wrote on X.

Spain's PM Sanchez: current ceasefire in Gaza not enough
2:19 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said during a visit to Rafah border crossing in Egypt that the current ceasefire in Gaza is not enough and that a permanent ceasefire was needed.

Combat between Israeli forces and Hamas fighters halted on Friday for the first time in seven weeks in a temporary truce ahead of the planned release of Israeli hostages held by the militants in exchange for jailed Palestinian women and children.

Gaza truce is a short pause: Israeli defence minister
2:09 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has said that a truce under way with Hamas in Gaza was a "short pause", after which Israel would resume operating with full military force.

Gallant made the remarks to his Italian counterpart who was on a visit to Tel Aviv, according to his office. He spoke as Israel prepared to receive 13 hostages set to be freed from Gaza, in return for the release of 39 Palestinian prisoners.

"There will be a short pause and then we will continue operating with full military power. We will not stop until we achieve our goals: the destruction of Hamas and bringing home the hostages from Gaza to Israel – there are 240 hostages and it is something we cannot accept and cannot tolerate," Gallant said. 

Israel has killed 14,850 Palestinians, including some 6,150 children, in its relentless bombardments on the densely populated Gaza Strip.

Egypt prepares to receive Israel hostages from Hamas: state
2:07 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Head of Egypt's state information service says 12 Thai nationals to be freed from Gaza, with 13 Israeli captives.

"Egypt's mediation efforts have yielded the release of 12 Thai hostages and 13 Israelis, including women and children, held by Hamas," the government media office said.

Sisi: Future Palestinian state could be demilitarised
1:21 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 A future Palestinian state could be demilitarised and have a temporary international security presence to provide guarantees to both it and to Israel, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi says.

"We said that we are ready for this state to be demilitarised, and there can also be guarantees of forces, whether NATO forces, United Nations forces, or Arab or American forces, until we achieve security for both states, the nascent Palestinian state and the Israeli state," Sisi said during a joint news conference in Cairo with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

A political resolution which requires a Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, has remained out of reach, Sisi added.

Arab nations have rejected suggestions that an Arab force provide security in the Gaza Strip after the end of Israel's current military operation in the besieged Palestinian territory.

Sweden says spread of PM slip-up on Israel 'distortion'
1:16 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Sweden's government have said that video clips circulating of a slip-up by Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, purportedly showing him saying Israel had a right to genocide, were a "distortion" and part of a "disinformation campaign".

The clips originate from a question and answer session Kristersson held in Gothenburg on Tuesday when he begins to talk about the Israel-Hamas conflict and appears to misspeak.

"Right now, there are circulating clips with inaccurate translations and distortion of what the Swedish Prime Minister said during an open meeting in Gothenburg," Carl-Oskar Bohlin, Civil Defence Minister, said in a post to X, formerly Twitter.

"The purpose is obvious: To damage Sweden's image abroad and contribute to further polarisation and division," Bohlin added.

At one point during the talk, Kristersson begins to talk about the Gaza conflict, but apparently misspeaks as he attempts to say that Sweden and the EU are "united on that Israel has a right to defence, within the framework of international law".

However, instead of the word for "defence" (forsvar in Swedish), he first says "folk" before correcting himself.

Some in the crowd take this to mean that Kristersson was about to say "folkmord", or genocide, which also is similar to the word for international law -- folkratt.

"Does Israel have a right to genocide?" and "we heard it" members of the crowd can be heard shouting.

Israel destroys Al-Shifa facilities after withdrawing: media
12:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces have withdrawn from Gaza City's Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and has decimated a number of its facilities, Anadolu Agency reports. 

This follows Israel's weeks-long claims that one of Gaza's largest hospitals was secretly operating as a "command and control centre" for Hamas.

Israel has since taken control of the medical facility for over a week-  but has failed to demonstrate proof of the allegations.

Israeli forces confirmed it destroyed many of Al-Shifa's facilities in a post on X, by stating that they had taken down "terrorist tunnels" at the hospital without providing evidence.

Chris Doyle, the director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, tweeted that "tunnels were destroyed before they could be independently verified". 

39 Palestinians set to be freed- where are they heading to?
12:28 PM
The New Arab Staff

Al Jazeera has acquired further information about which locations the 39 Palestinians who will be released from Israeli jails will be dropped off to.

These areas include Jerusalem, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, Qalqilya, and more.

More updates to come.

France detains footballer Youcef Atal over post on Gaza war
12:14 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

French police have detained Algerian international Youcef Atal, who plays for Ligue 1 football side Nice, in a probe into suspected "justification of terrorism" after he published a social media post on Israel's war on Gaza, prosecutors said.

Last month the 27-year-old defender was banned for seven matches over the post, which he quickly deleted and for which he subsequently issued an apology.

The public prosecutor in Nice opened a probe following a request from the local prefect and mayor of Nice.

Any violation of the truce will be met with response: Hamas
12:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

The military wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, Al-Quds Brigades, has confirmed the group's commitment to halt any fighting to adhere to the truce deal and claims that they will put into motion as long as Israel complies. 

The group's spokesperson, Abu Hamza, added that any violation of the deal will met with a retaliatory response.

“For 48 days, the Al-Quds Brigades and the Palestinian resistance bombarded the occupied cities and towns with hundreds of rockets and mortar shells,” Abu Hamza said.

“Enough of your threats to Gaza when you have tasted woes there, and if necessary, watch us in every street and alley. It is a crossroads, and we will not raise the white flag and we will emerge only victorious."

He added, "We are a people who do not leave our prisoners in the hands of usurpers, and we will not give up our battle until we achieve all our goals."

WHO: 'Extremely concerned' about those left in Al Shifa
11:47 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson says that it is working on further evacuations from northern Gaza hospitals as soon as possible as a truce gets underway, voicing fears for the safety of those remaining in Al Shifa Hospital.

"We're extremely concerned about the safety of the estimated 100 patients and health workers remaining at Al Shifa," said WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier.

He declined to react to comments from the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza saying it was suspending cooperation with the global health agency amid reports that Israel is holding medical staff for questioning. 

New updates on Palestinian detainees' release
11:36 AM
The New Arab Staff

Female Palestinian prisoners at Damon prison near Haifa are set to be brought to the Ofer detention centre near Ramallah, ahead of their release as part of the prisoner swap exchange between Hamas and Israel, Al Jazeera reports.

Bodies of Palestinians killed in Beit Lahia are recovered
10:59 AM
The New Arab Staff

According to local Palestinian media outlets and activists, bodies of Palestinians who were killed during a raid at Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip have been recovered, following the start of the Israel-Hamas truce.

Nine houses in the Beit Lahia neighbourhood were reportedly destroyed by Israeli warplanes.

Prior to the truce, Palestinian journalist Ayat al-Khadour reported the escalation of attacks at the Beit Lahia housing project in Gaza, stating that Israel used white phosphorus and thermobaric bombs- before being killed by Israeli bombardment.

More civilian captives could be released: Hamas
10:54 AM
The New Arab Staff

Ghazi Hamad, member of Hamas’s political bureau, confirmed to Al Jazeera that they may consider negotiating to release more civilian captives including men.

However, Hamad had also said, “This is another story”, in reference to Israeli soldiers held captive.

“At this phase, we are talking about the civilian hostages. Regarding others, we are looking for a comprehensive swap and exchange to release all [7,200] prisoners in Israeli detention centres. This is our goal and aim,” Hamad tells Al Jazeera.

“But we will wait and see. We have full patience, power and energy to do that … Israel must release all the prisoners, and we are ready to release the Israeli soldiers.”

2 ambulances, 85 aid trucks enter Rafah: PRCS
10:50 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) says that two ambulances and 85 aid aid trucks have entered through the Rafah crossing.

The trucks contained humanitarian aid such as food, water, medical supplies and medicines, it added.

Seven people wounded by Israeli forces: media
10:33 AM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian news agency Wafa has reported that seven people have been wounded by Israeli forces, following attempts to return to their homes in northern Gaza.

Israeli forces has been warning Gazans that any movement from the south of the Gaza Strip to the north “will not be allowed in any way", as troops have claimed that northern areas are considered to be “a combat zone”.

Israel continues to raid occupied West Bank amid truce
10:05 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian Prisoners Society have said a 22-year-old Palestinian had been killed during a raid in Jericho, as fighting has been paused in the Gaza Strip.

A second Palestinian who was wounded in another raid on Tulkarem, has also died of his wounds.

Israeli forces have issued arrests against several people in the town of Tarqumiyah, west of Hebron, Al Jazeera reported and verified.

Aid worker killed in Gaza by Israel
10:00 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

International Committee of the Red Cross in Israel and the Occupied Territories has announced the death of one of its aid workers, Abdellatif Ali Moussa, who had worked at ICRC for 20 years. 

"We are devastated by the killing of our valued colleague Abdellatif Ali Moussa, along with several of his family, in northern Gaza," they said in a post on X.

Palestinians say 24 women, 15 teenaged males to be freed
9:44 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel will on Friday release 39 Palestinians prisoners, among them 24 women and 15 teenaged males, in the occupied West Bank in exchange for 13 hostages due to be freed from the Gaza Strip by Hamas, a Palestinian official said.

The inmates, all of them from the occupied West Bank or Jerusalem, will be handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross at Israel's Ofer military jail around 4 p.m. (1400 GMT), said Qadura Fares, Palestinian commissioner for prisoners.

That would coincide with the planned handover at the Gaza-Egypt border of 13 women and children who were among some 240 people taken hostage by Hamas gunmen during a deadly Oct. 7 rampage in southern Israel.

"After the Red Cross receives the (Palestinian) prisoners, the ones from Jerusalem will go to Jerusalem and the ones from the West Bank will gather in Betunia municipal council where their families will be waiting,” Fares told Reuters.

Britain pledges additional aid to Gaza
9:20 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Britain will provide another 30 million pounds ($37.38 million)of humanitarian aid to Gaza, Foreign Secretary David Cameron said on Friday as he travels to the occupied Palestinian territories on the second day of his visit to the region.

Cameron will meet Palestinian leaders and aid agencies.

On Thursday he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as fighting between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas continued before a four-day truce was due to begin and ahead of the expected release of 13 Israeli women and child hostages.

"We are hopeful that today will see the release of hostages, and I am urging all parties to continue to work towards the release of every hostage. A pause will also allow access for life-saving aid to the people of Gaza," Cameron said in a statement.

The new pledge will double the amount of additional aid Britain has committed to Gaza since the conflict began in October. 

Lebanon's Hezbollah intensifies attacks on Israel overnight
9:14 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hezbollah intensified its attacks on Israel from southern Lebanon on the eve of the Hamas-Israel truce deal, where Israeli bombardments killed seven of its fighters, including members of an elite unit.

Hezbollah said it carried out more than 20 attacks on Israeli military positions and claimed to have caused casualties.

In one of the attacks, it said it fired 48 Katyusha rockets at a military base at Ein Zeitim, near the town of Safed in northern Israel, about 10 kilometres (six miles) from the border.

Israeli forces said that its helicopters and fighters jets had also struck infrastructure sites belonging to Hezbollah, as well as rocket launch areas.

Aid trucks enter Gaza from Egypt after truce begins
9:11 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Aid trucks have been seen entering the Gaza Strip from Egypt on Friday, around 1-1/2 hours after a truce began between Israel and Palestinian Hamas fighters, Reuters TV footage showed.

Two of the trucks, representing Egyptian organisations, sported banners that said, "Together for Humanity." Another said: "For our brothers in Gaza."

France's top diplomat in Beijing for talks on Middle East
9:10 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

France's top diplomat Catherine Colonna met Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on Friday, as part of a short visit focused on the Israel-Hamas war as well as deepening exchanges between the two countries.

Colonna's talks in Beijing come the same day that a truce between Israel and Hamas took effect, with the Palestinian group set to release a first group of 13 hostages later Friday, and a total of 50 over four days.

"For us, all the hostages must be released. All, and not just 50," Colonna said during a briefing with French journalists.

Paris has said that the conflict in the Middle East will be high on the agenda for Colonna and her Chinese counterparts.