(CTN News) – Late Saturday night, when assistance trucks from the United Nations arrived in northern Gaza, Hamas released a second group of inmates in return for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
Israeli forces reportedly warned Gazans from traveling north, even though there has been a four-day ceasefire, according to Al Jazeera. On Sunday, a Palestinian journalist reported that Israeli forces were killing and arresting Palestinians in northern Gaza.
On Saturday, thirty-three Palestinians, including six females and thirty-three children, were released from Israeli detention facilities and allowed to rejoin their families.
Despite the releases, over 8,000 Palestinians are still held in Israeli custody, according to Al Jazeera. Among them are over 2,200 administrative detainees who have not been charged or tried.
Additionally, Israel has been raiding the occupied West Bank daily, arresting more Palestinians despite releasing others.
Four Thai nationals and thirteen Israelis were among those freed by Hamas. The first ceasefire since Israel’s air and military invasion of Gaza on October 7—following a surprise raid by Hamas that killed 1,200 people and captured roughly 240—will be maintained, according to a Palestinian official well-versed in the diplomatic developments.
Over 14,800 Palestinians, mostly women, children, and the elderly, were killed, injured, or forced to flee their homes in Gaza as a result of Israel’s siege, ceaseless bombardment, and ground offensive.
On Friday, Hamas released 13 Israeli prisoners in exchange for the release of 39 Palestinian girls and women from Israeli jails; on Saturday, the two sides continued their exchange. Meanwhile, Israeli military incursions in the occupied West Bank continued over the weekend, killing at least six Palestinians.
Additionally, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that ambulances and emergency medical personnel were being blocked from reaching wounded people in Jenin by Israeli Occupation Forces. The report went on to say that two local hospitals were under Israeli siege.
According to Al Jazeera, Israeli police have arrested over 3,000 individuals in the occupied West Bank and killed 229 Palestinians, including 52 children, since October 7.
According to the UN, 61 trucks carrying food, water, and medical supplies arrived in northern Gaza, while another 200 trucks were sent from Nitzana, Israel, to the territory.
Out of those, 187 managed to cross the border, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Israeli forces besieged and raided Al-Shifa hospital; eleven ambulances, three coaches, and a flatbed were transported to the facility, according to the OCHA. That these cars would “assist with evacuations” was the official word from the UN organization.
“The longer the pause lasts, the more aid humanitarian agencies will be able to send in and across Gaza,” OCHA noted, expressing gratitude to the Palestinian and Egyptian Red Crescent groups.
The Israeli government is reportedly planning to release 39 Palestinian prisoners from jail today, with another 13 detainees from Gaza also set for release, as reported by Al Jazeera.
With Hamas militants announcing on Saturday that they would postpone releases unless Israel fulfilled all truce conditions—including a promise to allow aid trucks into northern Gaza—the accord appeared destined to fall through.
The arrangement was salvaged after a day of intense negotiation facilitated by Egypt and Qatar. US President Joe Biden was involved in this process, contacting the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
According to Osama Hamdan, a spokeswoman for Hamas, “less than half of what Israel agreed on” (65 out of 340 supply trucks that entered Gaza since Friday) had made it to northern Gaza.
The armed branch of Hamas, Al-Qassam Brigades, also claimed that Israel had disregarded the conditions for the release of Palestinian detainees that took their length of captivity into account.
According to Majed Al-Ansari, a spokesman for the Qatari foreign ministry, there has been “a lot of discussion” regarding the criteria for prioritizing release, with the length of time spent in Israeli prisons being a crucial factor for the Palestinian side.
In an interview with CNN, he expressed optimism that they would be able to resolve many of the details on the second or third day of the halt.
According to Israel, the ceasefire might be prolonged, provided Hamas maintained a daily release rate of ten hostages. According to a Palestinian source, as many as one hundred prisoners may be freed.
At the same time, demonstrators from all over the globe demanded an immediate end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and a global cessation of hostilities.
On Sunday, emir Sirajul Haq of the Jamaat-e-Islami movement told a gathering that the gates of paradise will not open for us unless we rescue our Palestinian brethren. He declared his willingness to die for the Palestinian cause.
On Saturday, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in London to march in support of a long-term end to the Israeli-Gaza conflict.
As they made their way through the heart of London to the Houses of Parliament at Westminister, the protesters brandished banners and placards in support of the Palestinian cause and yelled out chants.
It was London’s biggest pro-Palestinian demonstration since October 7.
Palestinian journalist Motaz Azaiza tweeted on X (previously Twitter) that the people of Gaza need a permanent ceasefire. With an additional “we want to live,” he continued.
Images and videos of hundreds of people demonstrating in support of Palestine in Melbourne, Australia, calling for an end to the conflict in Gaza have been making the rounds on social media.
Passive resistance is required now, the protesters demanded. Protesters, including several elected officials from the area, denounced the Israeli assault of the besieged enclave.
It is a call on all of us to support the Palestinian determination to resist 75 years of colonization,” one speaker stated, according to Al Jazeera.