The hostages freed Friday included 13 Israelis, 10 people from Thailand and one from the Philippines, according to Qatar.( Photo :The Canadian Press)
Hamas released 24 hostages who had been held captive in Gaza for weeks, and Israel freed 39 Palestinians from prison in the first stage of a swap under a four-day cease-fire deal.
The hostages freed Friday included 13 Israelis, 10 people from Thailand and one from the Philippines, according to Qatar.
The agreement opened the way for sorely needed aid to flow into Gaza for beleaguered residents. It was also a moment of hope for families in Israel and elsewhere worried about loved ones taken captive during Hamas' Oct. 7 attack, which triggered the war.
With the truce's start Friday morning, Gaza's 2.3 million Palestinians saw quiet for the first time after seven weeks of relentless Israeli bombardment.
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