Israel–Palestine Conflict: Qatar says more hostages to be released

Doha says 10 hostages from Gaza will be released today, 10 day after, versus 30 Palestinian prisoners, with extension of the Israel–Hamas truce. Meanwhile, French warship waits to treat Gazan children

Representative image of Israeli hostages held by Hamas coming home to loved ones. Qatar, which is playing mediator, says more hostages to be released today (photo: DW)
Representative image of Israeli hostages held by Hamas coming home to loved ones. Qatar, which is playing mediator, says more hostages to be released today (photo: DW)


  • The International Red Cross said it has facilitated the release of 11 hostages held in Gaza by the Palestinian militant group Hamas

  • The Israeli prison service confirmed the release of 33 Palestinian prisoners

  • Mediator Qatar and the US both said late on 27 November that the truce between Israel and Hamas had been extended by two days, with Doha seeking a further extension

Qatar working to extend Israel–Hamas truce

Qatari mediators were focused on extending the temporary pause between in Israeli operations in Gaza beyond Wednesday, 29 November, said Majed al-Ansari, a spokesperson for Qatar's foreign ministry.

"Our main focus right now is, and our hope, is it reach a sustainable truce that would lead to further negotiations, and eventually an end to this situation of violence and to this war," he said at a press conference in Doha.

Qatar on 27 November announced a 48-hour extension of an initial four-day truce, opening the way for further releases of hostages held by the Palestinian militant-Islamist group Hamas in exchange for the release of some Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Al-Ansari said 10 hostages held in Gaza were to be released today, 28 November, and another 10 tomorrow, 29 November.

He was unable to say how many hostages in total were still held by Hamas.

The AFP news agency quoted a 'source close to Hamas' as saying that 10 hostages would be freed from Gaza today, in exchange for 30 Palestinians who had been detained by Israel.

US asks Israel to avoid civilian displacement in Gaza's south

The United States has asked Israel to avoid 'significant' civilian displacement in any ground offensive in southern Gaza, senior White House officials said, according to the Associated Press and Reuters news agencies.

Israel was planning military operations in southern Gaza after its truce with Hamas expired, and had asked residents of some neighbourhoods to evacuate their homes.

"You cannot have the sort of scale of displacement that took place in the north replicated in the south. It will be beyond disruptive. It will be beyond the capacity of any humanitarian support network," one US official was quoted as saying by Reuters. "It can't happen."

The official said an offensive in the south needs to be "deconflicted" from power, water, humanitarian sites and hospitals.

French warship in Egypt to treat Gaza wounded?

French defence minister Sebastien Lecornu announced that the warship Dixmude is docked in Egypt and could begin treating wounded Gazan children before the end of the week.

"We have this ship which has been transformed into a hospital and which arrived yesterday. It has 40 beds," Lecornu said to Europe 1 radio.

The Dixmude has been adapted to facilitate a military–civilian medical team, including 22 civilian doctors, 16 of whom are surgeons and six paediatricians.

The ship, moored at the port of el-Arish, is the first Western military vessel to dock in Egypt since the conflict ensued, with a surprise attack on Israel by Islamist Hamas terrorists on October 7.

Located 50 kilometres (31 miles) west of Gaza, el-Arish serves as a hub for international aid to the Palestinian enclave. Western powers are now ramping up efforts to facilitate humanitarian aid to war-torn Gaza.

Egypt has requested specialised French medical equipment and financial assistance to help integrate wounded and sick Gazan children into its healthcare system.

Lecornu said French military officials are coordinating for approval to operate with Egyptian and Israeli officials.

Italy has also dispatched a medical ship to the region, as Western powers seek to counter the impression in the international community that they are not doing enough to help Gazan civilians trapped in a brutal conflict.

Israel approves list of Palestinian prisoners for release

The office of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that it had approved a list of Palestinian prisoners to be released, should more Israeli hostages also be freed.

"The government has approved the inclusion of 50 female prisoners in the list of prisoners eligible to be released in the event that a release of additional Israeli hostages is carried out," Netanyahu's office said in a post on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

Under the terms of the initial agreement, 50 hostages taken by Hamas would be released in return for 150 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Mediator Qatar had announced the temporary pause in fighting in Gaza had been extended by two days on Monday, 27 November, although there had been no official confirmation from Israel at the time.

Israel has said the truce could be extended by an extra day for every additional 10 hostages freed, but has vowed to quickly resume its offensive once it ends.

EU chief welcomes truce extension

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen meanwhile welcomed the agreement to extend the temporary truce between Israel and Hamas group.

"In the past four days, it has been heartwarming to see the first Israeli hostages freed, along with hostages of other nationalities. I also welcome the substantial increase in the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian civilians in Gaza made possible by this pause in the hostilities," von der Leyen said.

The EU chief said that 20 flights had brought in 900 tons of aid to Gaza via Egypt and said another four flights are planned for this week.

Some Hamas hostages in 'critical condition', physician says

DW spoke to Professor Hagai Levine, a physician and epidemiologist heading the medical team of the Hostages Family Forum in Israel.

The professor said that the last few days, with the release of some of the hostages held by Hamas, have been a mix of "hope and despair".

"While some hostages are released," Levine said, "my heart and soul is not only with them, but also with the others that are still in Gaza, more than 150 hostages, that some of them need urgent medical care, and the Red Cross is still not allowed to enter there. So I have mixed feelings and strong feelings."

Of those released, what struck the professor most was "the resilience and solidarity" among them, in the face of such adversity.

Levine shared a story of how one hostage "requested that instead of being released" herself, she asked that another woman be released first because she was "in worse condition".

Levine called for "patience" as the hostages eased their way back to full health.

Red Cross bus arrives in West Bank

A Red Cross bus carrying 33 freed Palestinian prisoners meanwhile arrived in the West Bank town of Ramallah early today, 28 November. It was the fourth such release by Israel since the beginning of this temporary truce with Hamas.

The Associated Press reported that the bus was met with loud cheers as it made its way through the streets.

Since the beginning of the truce on Friday, 24 November, 50 Israeli hostages and 150 Palestinian prisoners have been released.

According to the Israeli prison authority, this last set of released inmates included women and teenagers.

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