Three days after the release of an American woman and her daughter, Judith and Natalie Raanan, both hostages of Hamas, they are two Israeli women, originally from Kibbutz Nir Oz, close to the Gaza Strip, who were released, Monday October 23. Hours after their release, the Israeli Prime Minister’s office released their identities. They are Yocheved Lifschitz, 85 years old, and Nourit Kuper, aged 79 years old.
The two women had been taken hostage with their husbands, but both are still held in the Gaza Strip. According to the spokesperson for the military branch of Hamas, Abou Obeida, relayed by AFP, these women were released “for pressing humanitarian reasons”, thanks to mediation from Qatar and Egypt. After being transported in a military helicopter, the two ex-hostages arrived at the Sourasky medical center Tel Aviv, one on a stretcher and the other in a wheelchair.
In its press release announcing the releases, THE Hamas accused Israel of having “violated on eight occasions the arrangements governing the liberation operation which had been agreed with the mediators so that it could be carried out”.
According to an Israeli assessment, around 220 hostages of all ages, Israeli, foreign or binational, are still being held by Hamas. This Monday, US President Joe Biden demanded the release of all the hostages before discussions on a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and the Islamist movement.