Hamas Releases 2 Israeli-Russian Hostages In Outreach To Putin—As 6-Day Truce With Israel Nears End

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Hamas released 2 kidnapped Israeli women pinch ties to Russia connected Wednesday, nan last time of a impermanent cease-fire betwixt Israel and Hamas—as nan militant group prepares to merchandise astatine slightest 10 much hostages and negotiators see a multi-day hold of nan truce.

On Wednesday, 2 women joined much than 80 hostages who person been released by Hamas successful caller days, ... [+] portion of a multi-day cease-fire betwixt Hamas and Israel that negotiators are looking to extend. (Photo by Erik Marmor/Getty Images)

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Key Facts

IDF spokesperson Avichay Adraee said connected X, formerly known arsenic Twitter, that 2 hostages were fixed to nan Red Cross by Hamas and were connected their measurement backmost to Israel.

Haaretz reported nan 2 women—Yelena Trupanob and Irena Tati—have Russian citizenship, and CNN reported they immigrated to Israel from Russia, but nan IDF did not specify their citizenship status, simply calling them Israeli.

A Hamas spokesperson reportedly said nan women were released separately from nan group’s hostage merchandise woody pinch Israel arsenic a gesture to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been progressively captious of Israel’s subject run successful nan Hamas-run Gaza Strip—though nan Israeli Prime Minister’s agency tweeted nan 2 were freed arsenic portion of Thursday’s planned hostage releases.

Hamas is expected to merchandise an further 10 hostages connected Wednesday arsenic portion of nan extended truce agreement, and Israel is expected to merchandise Palestinian prisoners.

Key Background

Over nan people of nan six-day cease-fire, Hamas has released dozens of Israeli citizens who were taken to Gaza during nan group’s deadly Oct. 7 onslaught connected confederate Israel. The group has besides released immoderate captured group of other nationalities successful deals abstracted from nan statement pinch Israel. In summation to nan 50 hostages released successful nan first 4 days, 19 Thai hostages and astatine slightest 1 Filipino and 1 Russian hostage were released.

What We Don’t Know

Whether immoderate Americans are released connected Wednesday. There are still believed to beryllium 9 American hostages held by Hamas, and a U.S. charismatic and a diplomat told NBC News 1 American national whitethorn beryllium among nan hostages released today.

What To Watch For

Negotiations are reportedly underway to widen nan truce betwixt Israel and Hamas and proceed releasing hostages. A spokesperson for nan Qatari government—which has helped agent nan talks—told CNN nan state is optimistic nan woody will beryllium extended.

Further Reading

CNNLive updates: Israel-Hamas war, truce extended by 2 daysMORE FROM FORBESHamas Releases 12 More Hostages-First Since Cease-Fire ExtensionBy Molly BohannonNBC NewsIsrael-Hamas warfare unrecorded updates: Gaza cease-fire to extremity but hold talks ongoing