Israel receives 2nd batch of hostages from Gaza after delay

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Israel receives 4th batch of hostages from Gaza

Israel received on late Saturday night the second batch of hostages released from the Gaza Strip after a delay of over seven hours, the Israeli army said.

A total of 17 hostages, including 13 Israelis and four Thais, were released on Saturday night, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) wrote in a post on its X account.

The hostages will undergo initial checkups before being escorted to hospitals by security forces.

The 17 people are the second group of hostages sent back to Israel in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

The exchange was scheduled to take place around 4 p.m. local time (1400 GMT) on Saturday, but was delayed for several hours after Hamas accused Israel of failing to meet the terms of a four-day humanitarian cease-fire agreement, which was agreed upon by the two sides on Wednesday after more than six weeks of bloody conflict.

The “obstacles” were later solved through “Qatari-Egyptian contacts with both sides,” Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed Al Ansari announced on Saturday night, adding that 39 Palestinians will be released from Israeli prisons on the same day.

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