Hamas releases more prisoners as truce holds

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More hostages to be released today as Gaza truce holds

Yemen’s Houthia have seized a tanker linked to Israel off the coast of Yemen

News Desk

GAZA CITY: Hamas on Sunday, handed over another 13 Israeli hostages to the Red Cross along with three Thai nationals, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have also confirmed that 14 Israeli captives — one accounting to a Russian citizen who holds dual nationality — have been received by the Red Cross.

“Based on information that was received from the Red Cross, 14 Israeli hostages and three foreign hostages have been transferred to the Red Cross,” read the statement issued by the Israeli military on social media platform X.Al-Shifa Hospital has been a major focus of Israel’s ground offensive in northern Gaza, with the World Health Organization, the United Nations health agency, calling it “a death zone”.

More than 200 medical personnel have been killed and most hospitals shut down in the weeks of indiscriminate bombing by Israel.

The Israeli army ordered an evacuation of Gaza’s largest medical facility on November 18, but it was not possible to evacuate all the patients, as for some, an evacuation would have presented high health risks.

Israeli forces, which raided the hospital last week, alleged that Hamas fighters used a tunnel complex beneath the facility in Gaza City to stage attacks. Hamas and hospital officials have repeatedly denied the claims.

Israel has also taken into custody Muhammad Abu Salmiya, the director of al-Shifa Hospital.

The Ramallah Friends School says three of its graduates who had left the occupied West Bank to study in the United States have been shot at in Burlington, Vermont.

They have been identified as Hisham Awartani, who studies at Brown University, Kinnan Abdel Hamid, who goes to Haverford University, and Tahseen Ahmed, who is a student at Trinity College.

Awartani was reportedly shot in the back, Ahmed in the chest and Abdel Hamid sustained minor injuries.

Family members are calling it a hate crime, but police have yet to assess the motive for the shootings.

Of the 24 hospitals operating in northern Gaza prior to the war, only four small ones are operational and admitting new patients, the UN agency OCHA says.

Of the 11 medical facilities in the south, eight are currently functional, it said.

The bed capacity across Gaza has declined from 3,500 prior to the war to 1,400 presently, amid a surge in those seeking treatment, the UN agency said.

Only one of the currently functional hospitals in the south has the capacity to treat critical trauma cases or perform complex surgery, according to the WHO.

The White House aims to lift nearly all restrictions on Israel’s access to weapons from a crucial US stockpile, enabling a smoother weapons pipeline to Israel.

The White House asked the US Senate to scrap the restrictions in its latest supplementary budget request on October 20.

If granted, the request would enable Israel to access more high-powered US weapons at a reduced cost, with less congressional oversight.

Attackers have seized a tanker linked to Israel off the coast of Yemen.

The attackers seized the Central Park, managed by Zodiac Maritime, in the Gulf of Aden.

“Our priority is the safety of our 22 crew onboard,” Zodiac said in a statement. “The Turkish-captained vessel has a multinational crew consisting of a crew of Russian, Vietnamese, Bulgarian, Indian, Georgian and Filipino nationals. The vessel is carrying a full cargo of phosphoric acid.”

Zodiac described the vessel as being owned by Clumvez Shipping Inc, though other records directly linked Zodiac as the owner. London-based Zodiac Maritime is part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Group.

While no group immediately claimed responsibility, it comes as at least two other maritime attacks in recent days have been linked to the Israel-Hamas war.