Hostage release in Gaza, deaths, news and more
The first group of hostages released by Hamas returned safely to Israel on Friday, marking the end of the first phase of a historic agreement carefully negotiated between the two parties with the help of foreign mediation.
The civilians include 13 Israeli women and children captured by Hamas during its brutal attacks on Israel on October 7, and held in besieged Gaza for 48 days as humanitarian conditions deteriorated. Twelve of them were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz, according to the kibbutz spokesman and the Forum for Families of Hostages and Missing Persons.
The released hostages were handed over first to the Red Cross and then to Egyptian officials. They then arrived at Hatzerim Air Base in Israel, where they were airlifted to hospitals to receive medical care.
Besides the Israeli hostages, 11 foreign nationals were also released: 10 Thai nationals and one Filipino national, according to a Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman.
Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said that “all” of the foreign citizens released by Hamas “underwent an initial medical evaluation” when they left Gaza “and their lives are not in danger.” Hajari added that the group is expected to meet representatives of their country at Hatzerim Air Base and will also be taken to the hospital.
Here’s what we know about the released hostages:
Jaffa Adar, 85 years old
Adar is the founder of Kibbutz Nir Oz and the most senior person taken hostage by Hamas on October 7. The Missing Families and Hostages Forum said that a video of the woman being transported to Gaza in a golf cart driven by Hamas fighters went viral shortly after her kidnapping.
Kibbutz Nir Oz was destroyed during the Hamas attack, and more than a quarter of the community was killed or remains missing. Nir Oz’s spokesman said, “His eldest grandson, Tamir Adar, 38 years old and a father of two children, was also kidnapped and remains hostage.”
Margalit Musa, 77 years old
A mother of three and grandmother of ten, she is a retired biology teacher. She is also a cancer survivor, suffers from diabetes and “fibromyalgia, and takes several additional medications,” according to the Israeli Forum for Families of Hostages and Missing Persons. This nature lover was planning to travel to Mozambique this winter.
Hanna Katsir, 76 years old
She is also a member of Kibbutz Nir Oz and the wife of the late Rami Katzir (79 years old) who was murdered in his home. “Mother of three and grandmother of six. His son, Elad, 47, was also kidnapped and remains in Gaza,” spokesman Nir Oz said.
Adina Moshe, 72 years old
This retired teacher and resident of Nir Oz is a mother of four and grandmother of 12. Her husband, David (Said) Moshe, was killed in their home on October 7.
Ruth Maunder, 78 years old
Ruth Monder, a Nir Oz resident and retired hairdresser and seamstress, was kidnapped along with her husband, daughter Keren, and only grandchild, Ohad. Nir Oz’s spokesman said his son Roi was killed on October 7. Her 78-year-old husband is still in Gaza.
“She met her husband, Avraham, at the kibbutz…Ruth is a very talented woman, and was the kibbutz librarian and a seamstress. She also knits, draws and sews. She is retired. Ruth attends classes and family trips,” the Forum for Families of Hostages and Missing Persons said.
Keren Munder, 54 years old
The physical education teacher for children with special needs was born and raised in Ner Oz. The kibbutz spokesman said that she was kidnapped along with her only son, Ohad, and her parents, Ruth and Avraham.
Ohad Mander, 9 years old
Kibbutz spokesman Nir Oz said Mender “came to Nir Oz to visit his family” when he was kidnapped along with his loved ones.
Danielle Aloni, 45, and Emilia Aloni, 5
Danielle Aloni was one of three women who appeared in a hostage video released by Hamas late last month. She arrived in Ner Oz to visit her family and was kidnapped along with her daughter, Emilia. Nir Oz’s spokesman said that his sister, Sharon Aloni Kunio, and other family members were kidnapped and remain in Gaza.
On the day of the attack, “Daniel sent a final message to his family and said that there were terrorists in their house and he feared they would not survive. The Forum for Families of Hostages and Missing Persons said in a statement: “Now Daniel and Emilia are on their way to Israel.”
Doron Katz Asher, 34 years old, Raz Asher, 4 years old, Aviv Asher, 2 years old.
Doron visited Nir Oz with her family and was kidnapped along with her daughters Aviv and Raz, as well as other family members, including Efrat Katz. “They were photographed while being transported to Gaza,” the Forum for Families of Hostages and Missing Persons said. Doron lives in Ganot Hadar and works as an accountant.
His cousin, Dory Roberts, He told CNN in October Which received a video posted on social media showing the two women and girls being held hostage by Hamas fighters in Kibbutz Nir Oz in southern Israel. “She looked very terrified, confused and shocked,” she said about her aunt Efrat in the video.
Roberts said his aunt’s partner, 79, and another relative were taken hostage. “Those endless thoughts of ‘Where are they? How are they doing? What are they going through every minute of the day? That can really drive you crazy,'” Roberts said.
Chana Berry, 79 years old
Perry, who lived on Kibbutz Nirim, immigrated to Israel from South Africa in the 1960s, worked in a grocery store and is the mother of three children, one of whom was killed on October 7 and the other kidnapped. The Forum for Families of Hostages and Missing Persons said in a statement: “He suffers from diabetes and suffers from severe vision loss in one eye.”
No further details have been provided about the released foreigners yet.
Gilinor “Jimmy” Pacheco
Pacheco, a Filipino citizen, was working as a guard in Israel when he was kidnapped on October 7. Avishai Ben-Zvi, the son of the man Pacheco worked with, said after his release that he felt better than expected and that he had spoken with his wife in the Philippines.
Munkan is among the 10 Thais who were released. His mother, Punyarin Srichan, lives in Khon Kaen Province, Thailand with her 8-year-old granddaughter, and said she “cried with happiness” when she heard the news of Monkan’s release.