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Israel-Hamas War
First Hostages Are Released; Truce Holds as More Aid Enters Gaza

Some two dozen hostages, including Thais and Israelis kidnapped in the Hamas-led assault on Israel, were freed after the start of a four-day cease-fire, and dozens of trucks carrying aid, including fuel, entered Gaza.

Here’s the latest on the cease-fire.

Some two dozen hostages held in Gaza, including Thai nationals and Israelis, were released from captivity on Friday, the Egyptian and Qatari governments said, the first people to be freed under a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas that took effect hours earlier.

The hostages were transferred to Egypt and some were expected to be moved to Israel for medical care as part of a prisoner exchange in which 39 Palestinian prisoners and detainees were released from Israeli custody on Friday.

There were conflicting reports about whether 24 or 25 had been released, and the exact breakdown by nationality; the Israelis were primarily women and children.

The start of the four-day truce brought a measure of hope for families missing loved ones, a brief reprieve for Gazans battered by seven weeks of war and a faint sense of optimism for a change in the trajectory of the conflict. Israel and Hamas have said they would abide by the deal, but past truces between the sides have often fallen apart, and both have signaled that they would continue fighting when the pause expires.

Still, the cease-fire has already enabled the delivery of more aid supplies to Gaza, where roughly two-thirds of its 2.2 million people have been displaced by the war.

By evening, 150 trucks carrying humanitarian aid had entered Gaza from Egypt, said a spokesman for the Gaza side of the border crossing, including four carrying cooking gas and three carrying fuel. That is one of the biggest aid deliveries to Gaza since the start of the war — but still significantly short of the 500 trucks that typically entered the territory every day before the fighting.

Majed al-Ansari, the spokesman for the Qatari foreign ministry, said on a social media post that 39 Palestinian women and children had been released from Israeli prisons “in implementation of the commitments of the first day of the agreement.”