November 30, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Extends Pause in Fighting by One Day

November 30, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Extends Pause in Fighting by One Day

Latest Developments

Israel and Hamas agreed on November 30 to extend by one day the pause in the fighting in Gaza. As part of this pause, Hamas will release 10 innocent hostages and the bodies of three dead Israelis, while Israel will release 30 Palestinian prisoners guilty of a range of crimes. Hamas gave Israel a list of the hostages it would free shortly before the 7 a.m. deadline for the end of the previous extension. Israel’s war cabinet unanimously approved the extension, which comes as Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel — his third trip to the region since Hamas’s massacre on October 7.

Hamas has so far released 97 hostages, mostly women and children, in the six days since the Qatari- and Egyptian-negotiated pause went into effect on November 24. Israel has released 210 Palestinian prisoners. Hamas still holds approximately 145 Israeli hostages, including 15 women and children, but is not providing proof of life.

Expert Analysis

“The spectacle of these hostages — many of whom have been held in inhumane conditions for over a month — being paraded through throngs of jeering Gazans is painful to watch. It is shocking that these crowds come for the entertainment of seeing Israelis handed over to the Egyptian authorities and to hurl one last insult at the hostages. The ingrained hatred and dehumanization exemplified in this behavior are at the root of this conflict.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

“Israel and Hamas do not view the West Bank and Jerusalem as part of the pause in fighting in Gaza, though the latter would like it to be. Nevertheless, the Jerusalem attack highlights an alarming trend in recent weeks, wherein Hamas has claimed responsibility for shootings and a bombing targeting Israeli soldiers and civilians in the West Bank and now Jerusalem.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Hostages Released to Date

On November 24 — the first day of the pause in fighting — Hamas released 13 Israeli hostages, 10 Thai hostages, and one Filipino hostage. On November 25, Hamas released 13 Israeli hostages and four Thai hostages. On November 26, Hamas released 14 Israeli hostages and at least three foreign nationals, including American Abigail Idan, who turned four years old in captivity. On November 27, the final day of the original deal, Hamas released 11 hostages, including a 25-year-old Israeli-Russian man — the only adult male freed so far.

On November 28 — the first day of a two-day extension to the original agreement — Hamas released 10 Israeli hostages, including nine women and a 17-year-old girl, in addition to two Thai nationals. On November 29, Hamas released 12 more Israeli hostages, four Thai nationals, and two Russian women. The group included Raya Rotem, mother of 13-year-old Hila Rotem who was released on November 25. Israel accused Hamas of violating the agreement by not releasing mothers and their children together. Hamas released a second American hostage — 49-year-old educator Liat Beinin — on November 29 but continues to hold eight more Americans, including one woman.

Hostages Recount Harsh Conditions

The released hostages described spending nearly 50 days in a suffocating room, sleeping on plastic chairs or on the floor. Some described the food they were given getting progressively worse as time went on. Family members of 12-year-old Eitan Yahalomi said that Gaza residents beat him and other hostages and that his captors forced him to watch footage of Hamas’s October 7 massacre. Freed Thai hostages recounted that guards would beat Jewish hostages with electric cables.

Hamas Claims Three Members of Hostage Family Killed,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Asks for Extension of Pause in Fighting,” FDD Flash Brief

IDF Calls on Red Cross to Finally Visit Hostages, Seven Weeks On,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel and Hamas Agree to Two-Day Extension of Pause in Fighting,” FDD Flash Brief


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