War in the Middle East: Hamas delays handover of hostages to Red Cross – Qatar expects release in the evening

The radical Islamic Palestinian organization Hamas is delaying the handover of another group of hostages kidnapped during its brutal attack on Israel.

War in the Middle East: Hamas delays handover of hostages to Red Cross – Qatar expects release in the evening

The radical Islamic Palestinian organization Hamas is delaying the handover of another group of hostages kidnapped during its brutal attack on Israel. The hostages have not yet been handed over to the Red Cross, Israeli officials told AFP on Saturday. Hamas's armed wing, the Essedin al-Qassam Brigades, confirmed that the handover negotiated in an agreement with Israel would be delayed.

According to Qatar, the handover of 20 hostages in the Gaza Strip will take place this Saturday evening. "After a delay in the release of prisoners on both sides, the obstacles have been removed through Qatari-Egyptian talks with both sides," Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majid al-Ansari said. In the evening, 39 Palestinian women and minors imprisoned in Israel would be released in exchange for 13 Israeli hostages who were kidnapped by Hamas to the Gaza Strip seven weeks ago. Outside this agreement, seven civilians will also be released, it is said. This obviously meant seven other hostages kidnapped from Israel.

The Islamist Hamas confirmed the success of the negotiations in the evening. She had previously justified her actions by saying that Israel had violated part of the agreement. She also accused Israel of not allowing aid to be delivered to the northern part of the Gaza Strip as agreed.

It was currently unclear whether this was actually part of the agreement brokered by Qatar. In Israel there was always talk of making it possible to deliver aid to the south. In addition, Hamas's military wing stated that Israel should not "adhere to the agreed standards" when releasing prisoners.

According to media reports, Israel has apparently threatened to end the ceasefire at midnight (local time) if Hamas does not release the second group of hostages as planned. "Hamas is aware that the Israeli military will continue the ground offensive in the Gaza Strip if the hostages are not released by midnight," an Israeli security official told the news site "ynet" on Saturday - and accused Hamas of " "played the same game". Accordingly, the travel route and transport of the hostages were changed at short notice. According to the official, contrary to what Hamas stated, more than 61 of the 200 aid shipments planned for the day ended up in the northern Gaza Strip.

Several other Israeli media outlets also reported on the ultimatum by midnight, citing security circles, but official confirmation was initially pending.

The hostages were expected to be released on Saturday. According to Israeli information, 14 Israeli hostages were to be released as part of the agreement brokered by Qatar, among others. Israel had previously said it had received a list of hostages selected by Hamas to leave the Gaza Strip on Saturday. The expected date of their release was not immediately known. In return, Israel wanted to release 42 convicted Palestinian prisoners on Saturday, Israeli prison authorities said.

There had previously been several reports that the process of handing over the hostages had already begun. According to various reports, there was talk of 13 or 14 Israelis. According to reports, the hostages should have already been handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It was initially unclear how long the delay would last. There was initially no confirmation from the Israeli side.

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