Published17 minutes ago
Forty-one hostages held in Gaza have been released – they were taken captive during the 7 October attacks on Israel.
Some 26 hostages – all women and children – were freed as part of a deal between Israel and Hamas.
Meanwhile, 14 Thai hostages and one Filipino have been released as part of a separate deal between Hamas and the Egyptian government.
Under the terms of the Israel-Hamas temporary truce, a total of 50 hostages will be released during a four-day pause in fighting which began on 24 November at 07:00 (05:00 GMT).
Hamas says 150 Palestinian women and teenagers will be released from Israeli jails under the deal, and hundreds of lorries of humanitarian aid, medical supplies and fuel will be allowed into Gaza.
Who are the released Israeli hostages?
Margalit Mozes, 78, who was abducted from her home in Kibbutz Nir Oz. A cancer survivor, her family say she has other health problems that require almost constant medical care.
Adina Moshe, 72, was also kidnapped from Nir Oz on 7 October. Her husband Said Moshe was killed in the attack, according to a group that has been speaking on behalf of many hostages and their families. Afterwards, she was identified by her family in a video clip showing her wedged between two Hamas fighters on a motorbike.
Daniele Aloni, 44, and her six-year-old daughter Emilia were kidnapped from Nir Oz along with Daniele’s sister Sharon Aloni Cunio, 34, her husband David Cunio, 33, and their three-year-old twin daughters Ema and Yuly.
Doron Katz Asher, 34, and her two daughters Raz, four, and Aviv, two, were taken captive while staying with relatives near the Gaza border. Doron’s husband, Yoni, saw a video of his wife and daughters being loaded on to a truck with other hostages. He also traced Doron’s mobile phone to Gaza.
“I am determined to bring about the resurrection of my family from the trauma and the terrible bereavement we went through,” Mr Asher told the BBC following their release.
“I don’t celebrate, I won’t celebrate until the last of the kidnapped returns,” he said.
“The families of the kidnapped are not posters, they are not slogans, they are real people, and the families of the kidnapped are from today my new family, and I will make sure and do everything that the last of the kidnapped comes home.”
Emily Hand, 9, was released on 25 November after being held in Gaza without any of her family. The Irish-Israeli girl, who went missing from Kibbutz Be’eri, turned nine while she was a hostage. Her father, Tom Hand, who was originally told Emily had been killed, gave a statement to the BBC following her release.
“We can’t find the words to describe our emotions after 50 challenging and complicated days,” he said, adding that while the family was “happy to hug Emily again”, they have not forgotten the other people still being held captive.
Hila Rotem Shoshani, 13, was freed after being kidnapped alongside her mother, Raya, from Kibbutz Be’eri in the 7 October attacks but was released on her own. Raya – who remains in captivity in Gaza – messaged her brother on the day to say she and Hila were being taken there, according to Israeli media, and the family were officially told on 29 October that they were hostages.
Maya Regev, 21, had been at the Supernova music festival in southern Israel when she and her brother Itay were caught up in the Hamas attacks. That morning, Maya’s father got a call from his daughter who screamed “Dad they’re shooting at me, I’m dead”. The family said they later spotted Itay, who is still thought to be a hostage, in handcuffs in the back of a vehicle in a video released by Hamas.
Ohad Munder-Zichri, nine, his mother, Keren Munder, 54, and his grandmother Ruthi Munder, 78, were kidnapped from Nir Oz, Israeli officials said. The Associated Press reported that a phone signal has been traced to Gaza. Ohad’s ninth birthday took place while he was in Gaza. Avraham Munder, Ruthi Munder’s husband, Keren’s father and Ohad’s grandfather, is still being held hostage.
Itay Ravi, Avraham’s nephew, told BBC Newsnight the release of some of his family members was “one step towards being happy” but that “it’s still a very, very horrific reality that we’re in”.
Channah Peri, 79, was taken hostage along with her son Nadav Popplewell, 51, said Channah’s daughter Ayelet Svatitzky, who was speaking to them on the phone when the gunmen burst in. She said the captors sent pictures of her two relatives, who both have diabetes, with armed men in the background. Channah emigrated to Israel in the 1960s from South Africa and has three children, the group speaking for families said.
Hanna Katzir, 77, appeared in a hostage video released by Islamic Jihad on 9 November. In it, she is seen sitting in a wheelchair as she addresses the camera. She was abducted from Nir Oz, along with her son, Elad Katzir, 47.
Yafa Adar, 85, was kidnapped from Nir Oz. Her granddaughter Adva found a video of her being taken to Gaza, surrounded by four armed men. She has three children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, the group speaking for families said. Yafa’s grandson Tamir, 38, who defended the kibbutz as part of the Nir Oz emergency squad, was also taken to Gaza, the Times of Israel reported.
Dr Shoshan Haran, 67, was kidnapped from her home in Kibbutz Be’eri, on 7 October. She is the founder of a not-for-profit organisation to help feed those in poverty and has a PhD in agronomy. She was released from captivity on 25 November along with her daughter Adi Shoham, 38, and her children, Nave, eight, and Yahel, three. Dr Haran’s husband, Avshalom – an economist and dual German-Israeli citizen – was killed in the Hamas attack, while Adi’s husband, Tal, 38, remains in captivity.
Also released were Sharon Avigdori, 52, a drama therapist, and her daughter Noam, 12, who are relatives of Dr Haran and were kidnapped from Be’eri at the same time. Family members Eviatar Kipnis, 65 and his wife Lilach Kipnis, 60, were killed in the attack, the family has said.
Noam Or, 17, and his sister Alma, 13, were also released on 25 November. In the 7 October attacks, they were seen by a neighbour being dragged out of their home in Be’eri, along with their father Dror Or, 48, according to their nephew Emmanuel Besorai. The body of Yonat, 50 – Dror’s wife and the children’s mother – was identified among the 120 people killed at the kibbutz. Noam and Alma’s uncle, Ahal Besorai, told the BBC that the siblings did not know their mother had been killed. “We had to bring the sad news to them,” he said.
Released too on 25 November were Shiri Weiss, 53 and her daughter Noga, 18. They were taken from Be’eri, along with Shiri’s husband Ilan Weiss, 58, who is Noga’s father. Shiri is an accountant for the kibbutz’s agricultural association. A video message from the family said Shiri was captured while Noga hid under the bed, until fires set by Hamas forced her out and she too was kidnapped.
Hostages already freed
Prior to the deal struck between Israel and Hamas, four hostages were released, and another was freed by Israeli forces:
- Two Americans – Judith Raanan and her daughter Natalie Raanan – were released on Friday 20 October
- Two elderly women – Nurit Cooper and Yocheved Lifschitz – were freed on Monday 23 October
- An Israeli soldier – Ori Megidish – was freed during ground operations in Gaza on 29 October
Gelienor ‘Jimmy’ Leano Pacheco, 33, is one of 15 foreign workers and the only Filipino to have been released as part of a separate deal between Hamas and the Egyptian government. The father of three had been in Israel for the past four years as a caregiver to 80-year-old Amita Ben Zvi in the Nir Oz kibbutz, whom Pacheco said was killed in the 7 October attacks.
Boonthom Pankhong, 39, and his girlfriend, Natthawaree Mulakan, were two of the Thai hostages released by Hamas on Friday. Boonthom’s sister Urai Chantacharttold BBC Thai that the family was “overjoyed”. “Our family has been suffering for over a month, but we never thought he was dead. We strongly believed that he [was] still alive,” she said. She added he had been working in Israel for five years when he was kidnapped, and was the family’s main breadwinner.
It was feared Wichai Kalapat was among the Thai nationals killed in the Hamas raid but his girlfriend received word last week that he was being held hostage in Gaza. She told the BBC she was “so happy” because she did not think he would be among those who were released.
Natthaphon Onkaew, Khomkrit Chombua were among the four Thai nationals released on Saturday, according to the country’s prime minister.
Anucha Angkaew was also freed. His wife, Wanida Maarsa, told BBC Thai that her husband, who had been working on an avocado farm for almost two years – was one of those taken captive by Hamas militants.
The fourth person released was Manee Jirachat, who travelled to Israel for work four years ago. He was seized by Hamas along with five other workers who had taken cover together, according to a Thai TV interview with his father, who had spoken to survivors.
More on Israel-Gaza war
- Follow live: Latest updates
- Watch: Moment Israeli boy reunites with dad after hostage ordeal
- Gaza Strip mapped: Life in Gaza under siege
- Explained: The faces of hostages taken from Israel
- Israel-Gaza briefing: When truce ends, the decisive next phase of war begins
- History behind the story: The Israel-Palestinian conflict