Children and grandparents among Israelis released in hostage exchange

Families of the 13 hostages released by Hamas after 48 days in captivity have spoken of their relief as it is hoped more will be freed on Saturday.

The group handed over on Friday night includes a number of elderly women and mothers with their children.

Around 40 Palestinian prisoners accused of minor criminal charges have been released by Israel as part of the exchange brokered by Qatar.

Ten Thai nationals and one Filipino have also been released by Hamas in a separate deal.

It is hoped a total of 50 Israeli hostages and 150 Palestinian detainees will be released over four days during a temporary pause in the fighting.

Egyptian officials confirmed on Saturday that the second round of negotiations will involve another 14 Israeli hostages being freed in exchange for 42 Palestinian prisoners.

“We have now completed the return of the first of our hostages. Children, their mothers and other women. Each and every one of them is an entire world,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“But I emphasise to you – the families, and to you – the citizens of Israel: We are committed to the return of all our hostages.”

‘I won’t celebrate until the last of the kidnapped returns’

Doron Katz-Asher and her children were released as pawrt of the prisoner swap (Photo: Handout via REUTERS)

Among those released on Friday was Doron Katz Asher, 34, and her two daughters Raz, four, and Aviv, two.

Her husband Yoni Asher told the BBC: “I am determined to bring about the resurrection of my family from the trauma and the terrible bereavement we went through.

“I don’t celebrate, I won’t celebrate until the last of the kidnapped returns.”

Video footage also showed Adina Moshe, 72, being handed over to the Red Cross by Hamas terrorists.

Her husband Said was murdered during the attack on Kibbutz Nir Oz on 7 October.

Erez Moshe, her 9-year-old grandson, told an Israeli television station: “It’s the happiest day of my life – I’m going give her a big hug.”

Yair Moses shared a picture of his 77-year-old mother Margalit surrounded by her children after she was returned home.

“Mom returned!” Mr Moses wrote.

Undated handout photo of Margalit Moses. Moses is one of the hostages released on Friday Nov. 24, 2023 who had been held captive in Gaza for weeks, including 13 Israelis, 10 people from Thailand and a Filipino citizen, according to Qatar and other officials, in the first stage in a swap for Palestinians prisoners in Israel under a four-day cease-fire deal. (Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum via AP)
Margalit Moses was among those released
(Photo: AP)

Daniel Aloni and her 6-year-old daughter Emilia were abducted during a holiday visit to Nir Oz.

Pictures showed the mother embracing family members after they were freed on Friday night.

“Daniel sent the last message to her family and said that there are terrorists in their house and was afraid that they would not survive it. Now Daniel and Emilia are on their way to Israel,” the Hostages and Missing Families Forum said in a statement.

Daniel’s sister Sharon Aloni-Cunio was also kidnapped along with her 3-year-old twins Emma and Yuli, and their father David Cunio.

Ohad Munder turned 9 while in captivity

Undated handout photo of Keren Munder and her son Ohad. Karen and Ohad were two of the hostages released on Friday Nov. 24, 2023 who had been held captive in Gaza for weeks, including 13 Israelis, 10 people from Thailand and a Filipino citizen, according to Qatar and other officials, in the first stage in a swap for Palestinians prisoners in Israel under a four-day cease-fire deal.( Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum via AP)
Keren Munder and her son Ohad (Photo: AP)

Keren Munder, 54 and her nine-year-old son Ohad were captured while visiting their grandmother Ruthy Munder, 78, on 7 October.

All three have now been released.

Video footage showed a Hamas terrorist with his arm around Ohad as he was passed to the Red Cross.

The schoolboy, who has a love of Rubik’s Cube, celebrated his ninth birthday while in captivity.

Yafa Adar, an 85-year-old grandmother, has also been freed.

Footage showed her being taken on a golf cart into Gaza by Hamas terrorists on 7 October.

Mrs Adar appeared to be smiling and her grandaughter Adva said recently: “A lot of people told us that, when they saw her on the golf car, kind of smiling, they took a lot of inspiration from it, because you could see how strong she is.”

Relative of a hostage and victim of the October 7 attack in Israel, Ayelet Svatitzky holds an image of her mother Channah Peri who was taken hostage, and her brother who was killed, during a press conference at Israel's Embassy in London, on October 24, 2023. Israel was left stunned by the October 7 attack on southern communities in which it says Hamas killed more than 1,400 people and took more than 200 hostages, whose families have endured an agonising wait since. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP) (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)
Ayelet Svatitzky holds an image of her mother Channah Peri who was taken hostage, and her brother who was killed, during a press conference at Israel’s Embassy in London, (Photo: HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP)

Hana Katzir, 76, was also among those freed, weeks after the terror group Islamic Jihad, which is closely aligned with Hamas, claimed she had died in captivity.

Her husband Rami was murdered during the 7 October attacks and her son Elad is still in captivity.

The UK-Israeli daughter of Channa Peri, 79, had spoken of how worried she was about her mother before she was released on Friday.

Ayelet Svatitzky spoke at the Israeli Embassy in London about her ordeal saying simply: “Life has stopped.”

Her brother Roi was murdered and another Nadav is still held captive.

Bongbong Marcos, the President of the Philippines, tweeted: “I am overjoyed to confirm that a Filipino, Mr. Gelienor “Jimmy” Pacheco, was among the first group of 24 hostages released by the Hamas yesterday.

“He is now safely in the custody of officials in our Israel Embassy. I salute the work of the Philippine Foreign Service in securing his release, and once again thank the State of Qatar for their invaluable assistance in making Jimmy’s release possible.

“We remain concerned over the whereabouts of our other national, Ms. Noralyn Babadilla, and are sparing no effort to locate and secure her if she is indeed found to be one of the hostages.

“We pray for the continued success of the truce and for all hostages to be released.”

The freed hostages have been named by Thai authorities as Natthawaree Moonkan, Santi Boonphrom, Boonthom Phankhong, Mongkhol Phajuabboon, Withoon Phumee, Wichai Kalapat, Bancha Kongmanee, Buddee Saengboon, Uthai Thunsri and Uthai Sangnuan