(JTA) — The 21-year-old woman who was seen in the first hostage video Hamas published following its attack was among the eight people released alive from Gaza on Thursday, on the seventh day of a tenuous truce between the terror group and Israel.
Mia Shem was featured in a video nine days after Oct. 7, when Hamas invaded Israel, killing 1,200 and taking more than 240 hostages. Shem was abducted from the Nova music festival at Kibbutz Re’im, where 360 people died, and was seen in the video receiving medical care in Gaza.
On Thursday, her arm was bandaged as she was released and reunited with her mother. Her aunt said she had been treated by a veterinarian in Gaza.
Shem was one of two women released early in the day before a long lull, after which six more hostages were transferred to the Red Cross for release to Israel. Those freed on Thursday include the last two teens who were held hostage, a brother and sister.
It was a departure from the routine established over the past week, during which at least 10 women and children were released daily, as required by the truce agreement. The future of the ceasefire was uncertain as of midnight Israel time.
Along with Shem, the other hostages released Thursday are:
Aisha Ziadna, 17, and Bilal Ziadna, 18, two Bedouin Israelis who were abducted with other members of their family while tending cows on a kibbutz near their home in the city of Rahat. Their father and older brother remain hostages. Another member of their family, Youssef Ziadna, is credited with saving 30 people at the Nova festival.
Sapir Cohen, 29. She is the girlfriend of Sasha Trupanov, whose mother and grandmother were released on Wednesday but who remains a hostage.
Shani Goren, 29. She reportedly cared for a child hostage, Eitan Yahalomi, whom she knew from Kibbutz Nir Oz and who was released on Monday.
Ilana Gritzewsky, 30. An immigrant from Mexico, Gritzewsky was captured at her home on Kibbutz Nir Oz. Her boyfriend, Matan Zangauker, remains in captivity.
Nili Margalit, 41. A nurse from Nir Oz who works at Soroka Hospital, where some released hostages have been taken, she reportedly tended to some of the elderly hostages in Gaza.
Amit Soussna, 40. A lawyer who was captured from her home in Kfar Aza, Soussna was the other woman released early Thursday with Shem.
Israeli media reports had said that three bodies would also be returned to Israel on Thursday, but no further information has been released. The father of the only Israeli children still known to be in Gaza, Ariel and Kfir Bibas, appeared in a video released by Hamas on Thursday pleading for the bodies of his wife and children to be returned to Israel for burial. Israel has not confirmed or refuted Hamas’ claim, made Wednesday, that the young boys, ages 4 and 10 months, had died with their mother Shiri Bibas.
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Gallant: Seizing Internal Hamas Documents Brings Hostage Deal Closer
i24 News – Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant provided a review to fellow ministers of weapons and documents belonging to Hamas, which were collected by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Document and Technical Means Collection Unit (Amshat) operating in the Gaza Strip.
“This morning we are hosting the government meeting at the IDF, in the defense establishment, to show the ministers exactly how we are achieving and deepening our achievements and what is coming out of the Gaza Strip,” Gallant explained.
“You can see a small part of the things here – missiles, explosive charges, mines, a great many maps, means of communication, documents, computers, drives, all these things which the IDF uses now on as intelligence, and not only that,” the defense minister continued.
“These demonstrate that we penetrated into the heart of the most sensitive places of Hamas and use their intelligence against them,” Gallant described the process of attaining the documents and weapons, hinting at some of the locations from where it was found.
“We are using their weapons against them, detonating them in the field, all this leads to the consequence of deepening and penetrating the heart of Hamas’ capabilities,” the defense minister said.
“The more we deepen our operations, the closer we get to a realistic deal in order to return the hostages,” Gallant concluded.
The post Gallant: Seizing Internal Hamas Documents Brings Hostage Deal Closer first appeared on Algemeiner.com.
UNRWA Chief Urged to Resign After ‘Absurd’ Pledge of Ignorance
i24 News – Israeli diplomatic leaders called for the resignation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, following denial of knowing about a Hamas data center under the agency’s headquarters in Gaza.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) revealed on Saturday night that Hamas built a vast network of tunnels under the UNRWA headquarters, with a base directly underneath that was even hooked up to its grid.
“The exposure of UNRWA’s Gaza headquarters’ deep involvement with Hamas, including its use for terror activities and as an access point to terror tunnels, requires immediate action,” the Israeli foreign minister, Israel Katz, posted on X.
“Philippe Lazzarini’s claim of unawareness is not only absurd but also an affront to common sense. His prompt resignation is imperative,” Katz concluded.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, also called for the UNRWA Commissioner-General to resign, responding “it’s not that you didn’t know, it’s that you didn’t WANT to know.”
“We exposed terror tunnels under UNRWA schools and supplied evidence that Hamas’ exploits UNRWA. We implored you to carry out a comprehensive search of all UNRWA facilities in Gaza. But not only did you refuse, you chose to stick your head in the sand,” Erdan added in a detailed post on X.
.@UNLazzarini it’s not that you didn’t know, it’s that you didn’t WANT to know. We exposed terror tunnels under UNRWA schools and supplied evidence that Hamas’ exploits UNRWA. We implored you to carry out a comprehensive search of all UNRWA facilities in Gaza. But not only did… https://t.co/bJsD66OwoO
— Ambassador Gilad Erdan גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) February 10, 2024
“Take responsibility and resign today!” the Israeli ambassador said, “Every day we find more proof that in Gaza the UN=Hamas and vice versa. Anything the UN says or claims about Gaza cannot be trusted.”
The post UNRWA Chief Urged to Resign After ‘Absurd’ Pledge of Ignorance first appeared on Algemeiner.com.