November 26, 2023 Israel-Hamas war

By Chris Lau, Ivana Kottasová, Sophie Tanno, Tara Subramaniam, Antoinette Radford and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 0511 GMT (1311 HKT) November 27, 2023
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5:19 a.m. ET, November 26, 2023

Foreigners freed from Gaza are in 'stable condition' and 'improving'

From CNN's Amir Tal and Alex Stambaugh

A Red Cross vehicle carrying Thai hostages drives by at the Gaza Strip crossing into Egypt in Rafah on November 25.
A Red Cross vehicle carrying Thai hostages drives by at the Gaza Strip crossing into Egypt in Rafah on November 25. Fatima Shbair/AP

All of the foreign nationals released by Hamas from captivity in Gaza are in stable condition, according to medical professionals.

Of the 41 hostages released from Gaza on Friday and Saturday, 15 are foreign nationals: 14 are from Thailand and one from the Philippines.

Dr. Osnat Levtzion Korach, director of the Shamir Medical Center in Israel, said Sunday that all were in stable condition:

"They are in stable condition, and they are improving," she said, adding: "They're very happy to be here and we're very happy that we can give them the best care that they need."

Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the foreign nationals will remain in the Shamir-Assaf HaRofeh medical center in Beer Yaakov, southeast of Tel Aviv, until medical examinations are complete.

Israel promised to provide "dedicated care" to all of them, the ministry said. 

3:26 a.m. ET, November 26, 2023

Freed hostages at Sheba Medical Center do not need urgent medical intervention, director says

From CNN's Amir Tal, Michael Rosenblatt and Alex Stambaugh 

An ambulance believed to be carrying released hostages drives near the Israel-Gaza border early Sunday, local time.
An ambulance believed to be carrying released hostages drives near the Israel-Gaza border early Sunday, local time. Amir Cohen/Reuters

While the freed hostages who arrived at the Sheba Medical Center show signs of being held in captivity, none have needed urgent medical intervention, the director of the Safra Children's Hospital at the center said.

"I am happy to tell you that in spite of the days of captivity, which are recognizable, no one needs immediate medical intervention," Itai Pesach told reporters on Sunday. 

In a statement, Israel's Ministry of Health said the 12 freed hostages that arrived at Sheba Medical Center were eight children and four women.

"They will be here for as long as needed. We’ll keep taking care of them, physically and mentally," Pesach said.

Another freed Israeli hostage, Maya Regev, was taken to the Soroka Medical Center for treatment of a moderate injury. 

Regev arrived in "moderate condition" and requires surgical treatment, however her injury is not considered life threatening and she is expected to make a full recovery, Shlomi Codish, director general of Soroka Medical Center, said Sunday. 

3:00 a.m. ET, November 26, 2023

"This is a day of enormous joy and relief," says Irish Prime Minister after Emily Hand's release from Gaza

From CNN's Alex Stambaugh 

Emily Hand, who was abducted by Hamas gunmen during the October 7 attack on Israel, meets her father Thomas Hand after being released as part of a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel amid a temporary truce on November 26, 
Emily Hand, who was abducted by Hamas gunmen during the October 7 attack on Israel, meets her father Thomas Hand after being released as part of a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel amid a temporary truce on November 26,  Israel Defense Forces/Handout via Reuters

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said it was a day of "enormous joy and relief" following the release 9-year-old Emily Hand, an Irish-Israeli dual citizen.

"This is a day of enormous joy and relief for Emily Hand and her family. An innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned, and we breathe a massive sigh of relief. Our prayers have been answered," Varadkar posted on social media site X.

Hand had been at a friend's house in the kibbutz of Be’eri when Hamas militants attacked on October 7.

She was originally believed to have been among those killed in the attack. But earlier this month, the Israeli military notified her father that they believed she was still alive and had been taken by Hamas back into Gaza.

On Sunday, the Israeli military released video of Emily being reunited with her father, Thomas Hand, after she was freed with other Israeli hostages on Saturday. 

In an emotional reunion, Emily can be seen dashing toward her father and the two hug each other tightly.

1:30 a.m. ET, November 26, 2023

Truce between Hamas and Israel enters a third day. Here's what you should know

From CNN staff

A Red Cross vehicle carrying Israeli hostages enters the Rafah border crossing on Saturday, November 25.
A Red Cross vehicle carrying Israeli hostages enters the Rafah border crossing on Saturday, November 25. Fatima Shbair/AP

After a delay, a group of 17 released hostages arrived in Israel after leaving Gaza in a Red Cross convoy late Saturday local time, according to the Israeli military. A CNN team on the ground saw the convoy arrive.

The group includes 13 Israelis and four Thai nationals, Israel said.

Around the same time, 39 Palestinian detainees and prisoners were released from Israeli jails, authorities said.

Here are other headlines:

  • Truce dispute: Obstacles that caused a delay in hostage and prisoner releases Saturday “were overcome” through mediation, Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson said. Hamas said it was delaying the handover of hostages due to aid disputes and the selection of Palestinian prisoners being released. The group said earlier that it had received fewer than half the number of aid trucks that should have come through under the deal with Israel.
  • Latest list of hostages to be freed: Israel has received a list of hostages due to be released on Sunday and "security officials are checking the list," according to Israel's Prime Minister's office. 
  • The released hostages: Among the Israeli hostages freed on Saturday are 9-year-old Emily Hand — whose father Thomas initially thought she had been killed in Hamas’ attacks — and 21-year-old Maya Regev, who was taken to Soroka Hospital for treatment of a moderate injury, according to a statement from the hospital and Israel’s Ministry of Health. 
  • Foreign nationals care: Four Thai nationals were released by Hamas late Saturday, the Israel Defense Forces and the Thai foreign ministry said. Israel promised to provide "dedicated care" to all of them, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said Saturday. 
  • Palestinian prisoners released: Thirty-nine Palestinian detainees and prisoners — which included 33 teenage boys and six women — were released by Israel as part of the truce. Among them, 15 were serving a jail sentence and 24 were being held in administrative detention.
  • Humanitarian aid: The Palestine Red Crescent Society said it received 187 trucks from the Egyptian Red Crescent on Saturday and dispatched the largest aid convoy to Gaza City and the northern parts of the strip since Hamas' October 7 attacks in Israel. The UN said the convoy to northern Gaza consisted of 61 trucks. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called for an increase in humanitarian aid and fuel delivered to Gaza.
  • Qatar's call for truce to extend: Qatari Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari told CNN Saturday that his country hopes to see the truce to extend beyond four days.
  • Detained hospital director: The Israeli military said it is still detaining the director of northern Gaza's Al-Shifa hospital, Dr. Mohammed Abu Salmiya. Earlier Saturday, the World Health Organization called for the legal and human rights of detained health workers to be respected. Israel has repeatedly accused Hamas of using the hospital for combat and command purposes, which Hamas and hospital officials deny. So far, Israel has provided limited evidence of such use, with an alleged Hamas underground network having been viewed by only some Israeli reporters.

10:28 a.m. ET, November 26, 2023

Israel receives list of hostages set for release from Gaza Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister's office says

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Tamar Michaelis

Israel has received a list of hostages due to be released Sunday in accordance with an agreement signed with Hamas, according to Israel's Prime Minister's office. 

"Security officials are checking the list" and the information has been conveyed to the hostages' families, the office said in a statement.

Context: The list marks what is set to be the third day of releases since a truce for a temporary pause in fighting came into effect on Friday. Under the agreement, a total of 50 hostages are expected to be freed over the four days, while Palestinian prisoners are also due to be released in waves.

Twenty four hostages — including 13 Israeli civilians and 11 foreign nationals — were freed on Friday, followed by 17 more — 13 Israelis and four Thai nationals — on Saturday.

This post has been updated with additional information from Israel's Prime Minister's office.

1:04 a.m. ET, November 26, 2023

61 trucks deliver aid to northern Gaza Saturday, the United Nations says

From CNN's Richard Roth

Aid trucks drive down a road in Rafah, Gaza, on Saturday.
Aid trucks drive down a road in Rafah, Gaza, on Saturday. Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

Sixty-one trucks delivered food, water, and emergency medical supplies to northern Gaza on Saturday, according to the United Nations, the largest number of trucks to reach the north since the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel.

As day two of the Hamas-Israel truce unfolded, 11 ambulances, three coaches, and a flatbed went to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City to help with evacuations, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement Saturday.

Two hundred trucks went to the Nitzana border crossing with Egypt, while 187 entered Gaza by 7 p.m. local time (12p.m. ET), according to the UN.

129,000 liters of fuel also crossed into Gaza, it said.

In an earlier statement, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said it received 187 trucks from the Egyptian Red Crescent on Saturday and dispatched the largest aid convoy to Gaza City and the northern parts of the strip since October 7.

It said the convoy was "loaded with food and non-food items, water, primary health care medicines, and emergency medical supplies, from aid that entered through Rafah (Saturday) as well as from PRCS warehouses in the south," the statement said, adding that it successfully distributed the aid.  

The PRCS added that it has received 1,946 aid trucks in Gaza since October 21.

1:51 a.m. ET, November 26, 2023

Young girl whose father thought she had died on October 7 was among the hostages released Saturday

From CNN's Tara John

Thomas Hand, the father of Emily Hand, holds up a picture of them together at his hotel near the Dead Sea in Israel on November 10.
Thomas Hand, the father of Emily Hand, holds up a picture of them together at his hotel near the Dead Sea in Israel on November 10. Amir Cohen/Reuters

Thomas Hand thought his daughter Emily was killed in Hamas’ October 7 attacks, but she is listed among the Israeli hostages released by Hamas late Saturday.

Hand, who told CNN's Clarissa Ward of the news before it was officially announced by Israel, said he was bringing his 9-year-old daughter's dog, Johnny, to Israel and Egypt's border Saturday. He said he planned to meet Emily there when the Red Cross convoy arrived.

Hand said he has been living in a period of anguish and hope.

He was initially told Emily had died. Weeks later, Israeli officials told him that they’re not sure Emily was killed, as they had not located her body and didn’t find any blood in the home where she was sleeping.

She turned nine in captivity, Hand, who is a single parent after his wife died of cancer, previously told CNN.

He told CNN Saturday he hopes this will be the first step toward Emily's recovery and is aware of the long road she has ahead to heal after being in captivity for nearly 50 days.

1:05 a.m. ET, November 26, 2023

Qatar hopes to extend truce beyond four days, foreign ministry says

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

Qatari Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari speaks during an interview in Doha, Qatar, on November 12.
Qatari Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari speaks during an interview in Doha, Qatar, on November 12. Kyodo News/Getty Images/FILE

Qatar is hoping to extend the truce between Israel and Hamas beyond the agreed upon four days, Qatari Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari told CNN Saturday.

"What we are hoping for is that the momentum that has carried from the releases of these two days and from this agreement of four days will allow us to extend the truce beyond these four days and therefore get into more serious discussions about the rest of the hostages," Al-Ansari said.

Al-Ansari said he continues to work with senior officials in Qatar to address concerns from either side of the conflict regarding the implementation of the hostage deal. 

"Within this kind of mediation, you're always going to find both sides saying that the other side did not abide by the agreement," Al-Ansari said.

Al-Ansari added that he could not confirm if any Americans would be released on the third day of the truce.

"The lists are delivered on a daily basis. We are now expecting the list for the third day. Sadly, we can't know who is going to be on that list beforehand," he said.

The ministry spokesperson also said Qatar is working with partners in Egypt, the United States, and both parties of the conflict to ensure the agreed amount of aid trucks are allowed into Gaza.

"There are a lot of moving parts on the ground when it comes to humanitarian aid there which we need to work through," he said.

Al-Ansari responded to the head of the Palestinian Commission for Detainees and Ex-Prisoners' Affairs who accused Israel of not abiding by the agreement to release prisoners in order of length of time served.

"We are now hopeful with the third day of this pause we will be able to hash out all of the details that made this day so difficult," he said.

Some context: A second group of hostages released from Gaza — comprising 13 Israelis and four Thai nationals — arrived in Israel late Saturday, according to Israeli officials and a CNN team on the ground. Hamas had delayed the second exchange over a dispute about the prisoners and aid for Gaza that was resolved through mediation, according to Qatar.

10:28 a.m. ET, November 26, 2023

These are the names and ages of the hostages released by Hamas Saturday, according to Israeli officials

From CNN's Andrew Carey

Top row, from left: Noga Weiss, Shiri Weiss, Adi Shoham, Naveh Shoham and Yahel Shoham. Middle row, from left: Maya Regev, Noam Avigdori, Sharon Avigdori, Hila Rotem and Emily Hand. Bottom row, from left: Shoshan Haran, Alma Or and Noam Or.
Top row, from left: Noga Weiss, Shiri Weiss, Adi Shoham, Naveh Shoham and Yahel Shoham. Middle row, from left: Maya Regev, Noam Avigdori, Sharon Avigdori, Hila Rotem and Emily Hand. Bottom row, from left: Shoshan Haran, Alma Or and Noam Or. Hostages Missing Families Forum/AP

The Israeli prime minister’s office and the Hostage and Missing Families Forum have each released the names and ages of all thirteen Israeli hostages released on the second day of a truce between Israel and Hamas Saturday:

  • Shoshan Haran, 67
  • Shiri Weiss, 53
  • Sharon Avigdori, 52
  • Adi Shoham, 38
  • Maya Regev, 21
  • Noga Weiss, 18
  • Noam Or, 17
  • Alma Or, 13
  • Hila Rotem, 13
  • Noam Avigdori, 12
  • Emily Hand, 9
  • Naveh Shoham, 8
  • Yahel Shoham, 3

Dror Or, the father of Noam and Alma Or, is still being held by Hamas in Gaza, according to Israeli officials. Yonat Or, the children’s mother and Dror’s wife, was killed on October 7.

Raaya Rotem, the mother of Hila Rotem, is also still being held in Gaza.

Four additional hostages: Israel said a total of 17 hostages were released by Hamas on Saturday. The four people not listed above are Thai nationals, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin posted the names of the released hostages on his social media:

  • Natthaporn Onkaew
  • Komkrit Chombua
  • Anucha Angkaew
  • Manee Jirachart

This post has been updated with additional information from the Thai prime minister.