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Wednesday, February 28, 2024  
17 Shaban 1445  

Hamas delays second release of hostages until Israel lets aid into northern Gaza

A total of 50 Israeli hostages are to be exchanged for 150 Palestinian prisoners
Palestinians gather to buy fuel, amid fuel shortages, during a temporary truce between Hamas and Israel, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 25, 2023. (REUTERS)
Palestinians gather to buy fuel, amid fuel shortages, during a temporary truce between Hamas and Israel, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 25, 2023. (REUTERS)

Hamas said on Saturday that it had decided to delay the second round of hostage releases until Israel is committed to letting aid trucks enter northern Gaza.

Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades said the hostage releases would be delayed if Israel did not adhere to the agreed terms for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

There was no immediate Israeli response to the statement. Earlier an Israeli military spokesperson had told France’s BFM television station that, barring last-minute changes, 13 Israeli hostages were expected to be freed.

He said 39 Palestinian prisoners would be released in return.

Under the truce deal between Israel and Hamas, mediated by Qatar, a total of 50 hostages are to be exchanged for 150 Palestinian prisoners.

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