Israeli military says efforts to free hostages underway after brief delay – National

Work to free a second group of Israeli and foreign hostages from Gaza is progressing, Israel’s chief military spokesman said Saturday, after a brief blockage appeared to have been resolved with the help of Qatari negotiators.

“Efforts are progressing this evening,” Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said during a regular press briefing.

The military wing of the Palestinian militant group Hamas said Saturday it had decided to delay the second round of hostage releases until Israel commits to letting aid trucks into northern Gaza.

Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades added that the hostage releases would be delayed if Israel did not respect the agreed conditions for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

In response, an Israeli army spokesperson told French broadcaster BFM that Israel fully respected the truce.

Osama Hamdan, Hamas’ representative in Lebanon, told Lebanon-based Al Mayadeen TV that the suspension was due to Israeli truce violations “related to aid entering Gaza.” ), in addition to the shootings and the increase in the number of deaths… Some of these violations occurred yesterday and were repeated today,” Hamdan said.

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The ICRC had no immediate comment on whether the release of the hostages and detainees had been delayed.

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