Gaza hostage releases reportedly delayed amid dispute over aid trucks

The Israel-Hamas truce deal foresees a total of 50 hostages to be released by the militants Amir Levy via Getty Images

November 25, 2023

6:38 pm CET

2 minutes read

Hamas on Saturday delayed the second group of hostage releases under a four-day truce agreement amid a dispute with Israel over the amount of aid entering the Gaza Strip, according to media reports.

The armed wing of Hamas said it had decided to delay Saturday’s scheduled second round of hostage releases until Israel committed to allowing aid trucks to enter northern Gaza, Reuters reported. Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades charged Israel with not adhering to the agreed terms for the release of Palestinian prisoners, according to the report.

The entry of humanitarian aid to the north of Gaza and the selection criteria for the liberation of prisoners were the issues in question, AFP reported, citing a statement by the al-Qassam Brigades.

Hamas said it would wait for more aid trucks to enter Gaza before facilitating the second round of transfers, CNN reported, citing Israeli and U.S. officials. 

An Israeli official said the hostages had not yet been handed over to the Red Cross, AFP reported.

An Egyptian official said earlier that 340 aid trucks had entered the Rafah crossing from the Egyptian side, but had so far not made it to the Gaza side, as they must be searched by Israeli officials, CNN reported. A Rafah border crossing spokesperson said 133 trucks had entered Gaza so far Saturday, according to CNN. 

Asked about the delay, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said it is a “slow process,” according to the CNN report.

“Israel has not violated the agreement,” an Israeli official told AFP.

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Jones Hayden

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