Photo Credit: Courtesy the family
Raya Rotem (left) with daughter Hila.

Hamas violated the ceasefire agreement by breaking up four families during Saturday night’s hostage release, prompting Israel to re-evaluate negotiating mechanisms.

While 12 year-old Hila Rotem was released, her mother, Raya, remains in Gaza. Hila said she was separated from her mother 2 days ago, when they were told they were being released. Her mother was in good condition at the time.


Maya Regev, 21, was freed without her 18 year-old brother, Itai.

Adi Shoham, 38, and her children Naveh and Yahel, ages eight and three respectively, were freed without their husband and father, Tal.

Noam and Alma Or, ages 17 and 13 respectively, were released without their father, Dror.

The release came after an hours-long delay threatened to collapse the temporary ceasefire.

They were due to be freed at 4:00 p.m., but Hamas subsequently said the exchange was being delayed until Israel “adheres to the terms of the agreement related to the entry of aid trucks into the northern Gaza Strip and due to failure to adhere to the agreed-upon standards for releasing [Arab security] prisoners.”

A temporary four-day ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization went into effect at 7 a.m. on Friday.

As part of the deal approved by the Israeli Cabinet on Wednesday, Hamas is to release 12 to 13 hostages each day of the truce. The release of every additional 10 hostages will result in one additional day in the pause in combat.

Under the agreement, the Israel Defense Forces is to refrain from using surveillance drones in Gaza for six hours each day of the ceasefire. Israel will also allow fuel to enter the Strip during that time and dramatically increase the volume of goods permitted into the enclave.

Over the past two days, some 200 trucks carrying humanitarian aid have entered Gaza from Sinai, with more than 50 of them designated for the northern part of the Strip.

On Saturday, the Israel Defense Ministry’s Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit announced that four tankers of fuel and four tankers of cooking gas had entered Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah crossing.

Israel also agreed to commute the sentences of at least 150 female and teenage (including 18 year olds) Arab security prisoners, or three terrorists for every hostage that is released.

On Friday, Jerusalem freed 39 Arab terrorists from Israeli jails.

The first group of 13 Israeli women and children was released on Friday as part of the ceasefire deal, 49 days after Hamas terrorists kidnapped them and some 230 others during the Oct. 7 massacre of 1,200 people in the northwestern Negev.

The Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem identified the hostages released on Friday as Doron Katz-Asher, 34, Aviv Asher, 2, and Raz Asher, 4; Danielle Aloni, 45, and Emilia Aloni, 5; Ruth Monder, 78, Keren Monder, 54, and Ohad Monder, 9; Adina Moshe, 72; Channa Katzir, 76; Margalit Mozes, 77; Chana Perry, 79; and Yaffa Adar, 85.

In a separate deal, Egypt announced Friday that it had successfully negotiated the release of 10 Thai nationals and one Filipino who were abducted during Hamas’s Oct. 7 onslaught.

At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on Oct. 7. Another 240 men, women, children and soldiers were taken back to Gaza as hostages. Some people remain unaccounted for as Israeli authorities continue to identify bodies and search for human remains.


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