JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Just hours before the fourth stage of the exchange agreement with Hamas is set to move forward, Israel is still examining the list of hostages set to be released on Monday.Join our WhatsApp group
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“Discussions are being held on the list that was received overnight and which is now being evaluated in Israel,” according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office – Coordinator for the Hostages and Missing. “Additional information will be issued when possible.”
According to Israeli government sources , the list they received is “problematic,” and right now they’re in the middle of “intense negotiations” trying to get it changed.
Egyptian officials cited in a Wall Street Journal report said that Hamas had handed over a list to Israel on Sunday night after the release of the third group of hostages. The list contained the names of 11 hostages slated for release from the Gaza Strip Monday. The delay in Israel’s confirmation of receiving this list is unusual and hints at potential issues with the transferred names. In contrast to previous instances, the families of the hostages are still awaiting updates.
The delay is also apparently due to Hamas demands to release some older prisoners and not just juveniles or females as was agreed in the original exchange deal.
Hamas has freed 40 Israeli captives and some 20 foreign nationals over a three-day period, in return for a cease-fire and the freeing of Palestinian prisoners.
The third exchange saw 14 individuals released Sunday night. However, one of these was a Russian citizen who, according to Hamas, was released as a gesture of goodwill toward President Vladimir Putin. One of those released, 84-year-old Elma Avraham, is in serious, life-threatening condition after not receiving critical medications during her captivity. Doctors at Soroka hospital are battling to save her life.
An additional 17 foreign laborers from Thailand and one from the Philippines were released during these exchanges. These releases were part of a separate agreement forged with Tehran and Bangkok.
Monday marks the final day of the original agreement, which Hamas has already asked to extend. Israel has also agreed to an extension, which would see another 10 hostages released daily during the remainder of the cease-fire.
Current assessments maintain that 177 hostages are still held by Hamas and other subsidiary organizations. The terrorist organization claims it needs time to locate and to take control of the hostages taken by other entities. US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan said that the Biden administration is aware of this and believes the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is in possession of several hostages, which it would surrender to Hamas if the current deal is extended.