102 hostages have been released from Gaza
The total number of hostages held in Gaza since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel was 102 as of today, with most of those freed since the temporary cease-fire took effect Friday, according to officials from both sides.
Ninety-seven hostages have been freed since, and five were freed before it.
In all, 73 hostages were either Israeli or had Israeli dual citizenship, and 24 were of other nationalities.
Four American citizens or American citizens with dual Israeli citizenship have been freed. Two of them were released after the pause in fighting, and two were released before it.
Around 145 hostages are still being held in Gaza, officials said.
There have been 210 Palestinian prisoners released by Israel since Friday, officials said.
Initial truce deal has expired
Israel’s initial deal with Hamas to pause hostilities in exchange for the release of hostages has technically expired. (It was set to last until midnight local time, which is 5 p.m. E.T.) Talks continue for the release of more Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners, and the expectation is for an extension of at least two days, a senior Arab diplomat directly involved in the negotiations told NBC News.
But officials have yet to announce an agreement about a cease-fire extension.
The original framework was for a temporary truce that would last for four days but was extended to six after Hamas agreed to release 20 more Israeli hostages.
Israeli officials have said the military plans to renew its siege on Gaza once the fighting ends, with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant saying last week he expects the war to continue for at least two more months.
Father of freed American hostage hails her release, praises Biden
The father of the second American hostage released by Hamas said he is relieved that his daughter, Liat, appears to be in “pretty good shape” after weeks in captivity and expressed his gratitude to President Joe Biden for working to secure her release.
Yehuda Beinin, who lives in Israel with his wife, spoke to NBC News just “20 seconds” after getting off the phone with the president. Beinin said Biden “made it a very personal conversation,” spoke about his experience with losing a child and invited Beinin to the White House.
“We might take him up on that,” Beinin said. “It was so nice to thank him personally for his efforts in obtaining the release of our daughter.”
Beinin spoke on the phone while watching television news coverage of Liat’s release. “We are watching her picture on TV — there she is, right now, and she looks like she’s in pretty good shape, so that’s a relief.” However, Beinin said that Liat’s husband, Aviv, remains in captivity somewhere in Gaza.
“There’s going to be a lot of work to secure his release,” Beinin said.
He already knows what he’ll say to his daughter when he reunites with her in the hospital: “What’s up? What’s new?”
American hostage among more than a dozen freed by Hamas
Hamas has released one American hostage, Liat Beinin Atzili, from Gaza, along with at least 13 others.
Beinin Atzili is the second U.S. citizen released since the cease-fire began.
Family of Abigail says little girl happy to reunite with extended family
The family of Abigail Mor Edan, the 4-year-old Israeli American girl who was released after being held in captivity for seven weeks, said she smiled and laughed when reunited with her extended family.
Abigail “was hungry” upon her release and asked for food, water and juice, her great-aunt Liz Hirsh Naftali told reporters today.
“Abigail is home. Not in her home, but she is home in Israel. Because her home is destroyed,” Hirsh Naftali said. “They can’t return to where they lived. She has no parents to go home to.”
Abigail’s parents were killed in the Oct. 7 attack. Hirsh Naftali said she was grateful that the little girl, who turned four while being held captive, wasn’t alone on her birthday.
“We had hoped she would celebrate it with her family, but she didn’t,” she said. “But she was blessed to be with this woman and her three children. In this horrific tragedy, the thought that she wasn’t alone, completely, somewhere dark in Gaza was the only saving grace that we had to hope that that was what it was. And she was.”
She said the family is focused on getting the little girl and her siblings therapy and the support they need.
Regarding the hostage exchanges and the pause in fighting so far, Hirsch Naftali said: “Abigail coming home is proof that it works, proof that if we hope, we pray, we do all the work, these hostages will come home,” she said. “But we still have a lot of work to do.”
One American to be released today, Qatar official says
An American will be among the hostages released today, Dr. Majed Al-Ansari, the spokesperson for Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
A U.S. official confirmed that the Israeli-American dual citizen, Liat Beinin Atzili, was among those freed and handed over to the Red Cross today.
Al-Ansari said 30 Palestinians, including 16 minors and 14 women, were set to be released today in exchange for the release of 10 Israeli hostages in Gaza. The latter includes five people with dual citizenship: a Dutch dual citizen, three German dual citizens and an American dual citizen.
Families of American hostages to meet with Jake Sullivan
The families of American hostages in Gaza will meet with national security adviser Jake Sullivan tomorrow at the White House.
Some of the family members said they planned to ask about any intelligence or other information from negotiations that would indicate if their loved ones are being held from release because they are American.
The families noted repeatedly that hostages of a range of nationalities have been released, but the majority of the American hostages are believed to remain held.
“Where are the U.S. citizens?” one father exclaimed to reporters in frustration.
Video shows release of two Russian Israeli women in Gaza
Humanitarian aid reaches UNRWA shelters in northern Gaza for first time since war began
Humanitarian aid has reached the shelters operated by the U.N. agency in the north for the first time since the war began, a UNRWA spokesperson told Al Jazeera.
“The situation is much worse than we expected,” the spokesperson said, adding more crossings need to be opened with Gaza with 130 trucks piled up on the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian side.
“The fuel is just as important as the medicine and the civil order is on the verge of collapse,” the spokesperson said.
IDF says 2 released hostages are in Israel
Two recently released hostages are now with IDF forces inside Israeli territory, according to a joint statement from the military and the Israel Security Agency.
They said that after the two undergo medical assessment, they will be escorted by the IDF to a hospital to be reunited with family members.
Israel identified the released hostages as Yelena Trupanov, 50, and Irena Tati, 73.
Baking bread on the shattered streets of Gaza
Children sit near Palestinian women making bread, surrounded by remnants of a destroyed building in the neighborhood of Khuza’a, Khan Younis, today.
A Hamas official said more Russian Israeli citizens would be released today in appreciation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support for the Palestinian cause.
An Israeli man with Russian citizenship was released Sunday outside the truce deal with Hamas, becoming the first male hostage to return home.
“None of the Israeli men detained in Gaza were released, except for Roni Krivoi, of Russian origin, as a result of the movement’s appreciation for President Putin’s positions,” Musa Abu Marzouk, an official with the political wing of Hamas, said on X.
“Today, others will be released outside the deal in appreciation of President Putin’s commendable positions,” he added.
Putin has been critical of Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip and its toll on Palestinian civilians. He has urged a political solution to the conflict and has backed the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
One American hostage may be among those released today
An American citizen could be among the hostages released from Gaza today, according to a U.S. official and a diplomat with knowledge of the fast-moving events. The official cautioned the situation is still fluid and nothing is final.
There are currently two American women who would meet the criteria to be handed over as part of the truce, but it’s unclear whether that will expand beyond today. As it stands, the agreement is set to expire in a matter of hours.
The Biden administration maintains it is “hopeful” another two-day extension could happen and is actively involved in the talks to secure that, the official stressed, echoing remarks made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier in the day.
If an American is released today, the person would be only the second American to be freed as part of the humanitarian pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas. The first American released during the truce was 4-year-old Abigail Mor Edan on Sunday.
Family of hostages asks for privacy after Hamas claims 3 were killed in Israeli strike
Fears were growing for Gaza’s youngest hostage after Hamas claimed that he and two other members of his family were killed in an Israeli bombing.
Israel’s military said it was looking into the claim that 10-month-old Kfir, his 4-year-old brother, Ariel, and their mother, Shiri Bibas, were killed. Relatives said they were “waiting for the news to be confirmed or hopefully refuted soon.”
NBC News could not independently verify the claim.
“We thank the people of Israel for the warm embrace but ask to maintain our privacy at this complex time,” the Bibas family said in a statement released by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum.
Read the full story here.
U.S. envoy for hostage affairs travels to Israel
WASHINGTON — The special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, Roger Carstens, will travel to Israel today, according to a senior State Department official, marking his first visit to the region since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack.
He will support Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to the region, meeting with Israeli government officials and visiting the families of Americans held hostage in Gaza, the senior official said.
Carstens is in regular contact with the families and spoke by phone with some of them before leaving for Israel, a State official said.