Freed hostages in hospitals for medical assessment, elderly woman in serious condition

Most hostages reportedly in stable condition; 84-year-old fighting for her life due to lack of proper care in Hamas captivity; Hamas seeking extension of cease-fire

Itamar Eichner, Einav Halabi, Itamar Eichner, Eitan Glikman, Reuters|Updated:
Helicopter carrying 11 freed hostages lands at Schneider Children's Hospital in Petah Tikva
(Video: Ido Erez)

A helicopter carrying 11 of the hostages released Sunday from Hamas captivity in Gaza - nine children and two women - landed at Schneider Children's Hospital in Petah Tikva. Another helicopter, with 62-year-old Aviva Siegal from Kibbutz Kfar Aza, landed at a site near Wolfson Hospital in Holon. Locals arrived at the landing site at Schneider and waved Israeli flags.
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Schneider Hospital reported that an initial examination indicated the released individuals are in stable physical condition. Wolfson Hospital updated regarding Aviva Siegal: "She was examined by our best medical teams in a secluded area set up for the returnees. Her condition is stable. For the first time, she was reunited with her family in an emotional meeting."
3 View gallery
מסוק המביא את החטופים והחטופות לבית החולים שניידר
מסוק המביא את החטופים והחטופות לבית החולים שניידר
Flag-carrying crowds greet freed hostages as they arrive at Schneider Children's Hospital in Petah Tikva
(Photo: Yair Sagi)
One of the hostages, 84-year-old Elma Avraham, was airlifted in serious condition to Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva.
Hospital director Dr. Shlomi Kodesh said that Avraham was in "poor physical condition" and "life-threatening condition" stemming from a "prolonged period in which she likely did not receive proper care. The lack of treatment has led to the situation we are now dealing with."
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Sunday that evidence suggested a misfired rocket was the likely cause of an explosion that resulted in heavy casualties at a hospital in Gaza on Oct. 17.
The explosion at the Al-Ahli hospital triggered outrage across the Arab world. Palestinians blamed an Israeli air strike, while Israel said it was caused by a misfiring Palestinian rocket launch. The health ministry in Gaza said 471 people were killed. Israel disputes this figure. An unclassified U.S. intelligence report estimated the death toll "at the low end of the 100 to 300 spectrum".
"The explosion that killed and injured many civilians at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza on October 17, 2023, resulted from an apparent rocket-propelled munition, such as those commonly used by Palestinian armed groups..," HRW said. It said the findings of its investigation into the explosion were based on a review of photos and videos, satellite imagery and interviews with witnesses and experts.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday evening that he spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden and told him that Israel will resume offensive operations in the Gaza Strip "with full force" at the end of the truce with Hamas.
Meanwhile, a Hamas official said that the Palestinian terrorist group is seeking to extend the cease-fire beyond the four days that were initially agreed upon with Israel.
Hamas footage from the release of the Israeli hostages

The original agreement included a clause allowing for the extension of the truce, conditional on Hamas releasing more hostages.
Seventeen hostages, 14 Israelis and three foreign nationals, were released from captivity in the Gaza Strip as part of the third phase of the prisoner exchange deal with Hamas.
The freed Israeli hostages are Hagar Brodutch and children Ofri, Yuval and Oriya; Russian-Israeli national Ron Kriboy; Chen Almog Goldstein and her children Agam, Gal and Tal Almog; Abigail Edan, Elma Avraham, Aviva Siegal and siblings Ella and Dafna Elyakim.
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Top L-R: Ofri Brodutch, Yuval Brodutch, Hagar Brodutch, Agam Almog Goldstein, Tal Almog Goldstein, Aviva Siegal, Ron Kriboy, Dafna Elyakim, Chen Almog Goldstein, Ella Elyakim, Yuval Brodutch, Gal Almog Goldstein, Elma Avraham, Abigail Edan
Top L-R: Ofri Brodutch, Yuval Brodutch, Hagar Brodutch, Agam Almog Goldstein, Tal Almog Goldstein, Aviva Siegal, Ron Kriboy, Dafna Elyakim, Chen Almog Goldstein, Ella Elyakim, Yuval Brodutch, Gal Almog Goldstein, Elma Avraham, Abigail Edan
Top L-R: Ofri Brodutch, Yuval Brodutch, Hagar Brodutch, Agam Almog Goldstein, Tal Almog Goldstein, Aviva Siegal, Ron Kriboy, Dafna Elyakim, Chen Almog Goldstein, Ella Elyakim, Yuval Brodutch, Gal Almog Goldstein, Elma Avraham, Abigail Edan
Most of the hostages were transferred to IDF forces by the Red Cross in the northern Gaza Strip and from there to Hatzerim Airbase in southern Israel for initial medical examination. Russian-Israeli Kriboy and the three Thai nationals were initially moved from Gaza to Egypt via the Rafah border crossing, and subsequently brought to Israel.
Israeli officials estimate that most of the hostages who were released on Sunday were held in the northern Gaza Strip where Israeli forces have been carrying out extensive ground operations for nearly a month.
In return, as part of the deal with Hamas, Israel released 39 Palestinian inmates held in Israeli prisons - women and minors who have not been convicted of the murder of Israelis.
Members of Kibbutz Kfar Aza near the Gaza border, who were relocated to a hotel in central Israel, watched the return of their kibbutz members who were released from Gaza. Roni Asor, a friend of Agam Almog Goldstein who was released along with her mother and two brothers, said: "I'm tearful and grateful to God that my prayers were answered. Every evening I prayed for my dear friend Agam to return already, and I want to hug her so much."
Residents of Kibbutz Kfar Aza watch release of hostages from Gaza

Gil Yaacobi, a member of Kibbutz Kfar Aza and the head of a task force for the return of the captives, said: "We are all excited to welcome back our members, but we will not rest, we will not stop pressing, including a major protest that we will hold this coming Thursday to ensure more of our people who are captives from Kfar Aza return to us as soon as possible. We won’t rest until we see all our abducted members back in the country."
U.S. President Joe Biden expressed congratulations on the return of the 14 Israeli captives from Hamas captivity, particularly noting four-year-old Abigail Edan, an American citizen.
"Thank God she's home, I wish I could be there to hold her," the president said in a special statement regarding the release.
US President Joe Biden press conference on release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza
(Video: From X)

"We expect that additional captives with American citizenship will be released by Hamas. I will be speaking with Netanyahu soon, and we will continue to be in personal contact to ensure that the deal is fully implemented and to work on expanding it."
In his daily briefing, IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said that "Abigail - orphaned by both parents, who were killed by the cruel terrorist organization Hamas - is a hero, and her story is proof that the war against Hamas is a justified war like no other."
Hamas said on Sunday evening that it has transferred to the Red Cross 13 Israeli captives, three Thais and one Russian national.
The Palestinian terrorist group added that it released the Russian national as a gesture for the efforts of Russian President Vladimir Putin, "and in appreciation of the Russian stance and support for the Palestinian issue.”
An Israeli official told Ynet that "the release of the Russian-Israeli civilian from Hamas captivity is part of an agreement between the Russians and Hamas. Israel was not required to pay anything."
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רכב של הצלב האדום מגיע למעבר רפיח
רכב של הצלב האדום מגיע למעבר רפיח
International Red Cross vehicle carrying
(Photo: SAID KHATIB / AFP)
The families of hostages held in Gaza said they were anxious ahead of the scheduled release of a group from Hamas captivity in Gaza. 13 Israelis, 9 of them children, 4 Thai nationals and one Russian national are named on a list provided to Egypt by Hamas.
Meanwhile, the IDF said Sunday evening that Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi conducted a situation assessment at the Southern Command and approved plans for the continuation of combat in the Gaza Strip after the cease-fire with Southern Command Commander Major General Yaron Finkelman.
First published: 17:17, 11.26.23
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