Who are the hostages released on Friday?
Nov 25, 2023, 4:00 PM | Updated: Nov 30, 2023, 5:20 pm
(Hostages Missing Families Forum/AP)
CNN — A group of hostages is recovering after being freed by Hamas as a temporary truce took effect, bringing a halt to fighting after weeks of conflict.
Thirteen Israeli civilians were freed along with 11 foreign nationals in the initial exchange. They are all said to be well, bringing to an end the first stage of the painstakingly negotiated arrangement between the warring sides with the help of foreign mediation.
More hostages were expected to be freed Saturday, but Hamas has delayed the transfer until the “terms” were agreed to by Israel relating to aid and the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Here’s what you need to know about those released so far:
All but one of those freed on Friday were abducted from the Nir Oz kibbutz, which was devastated during the October 7 attacks. More than a quarter of the community was killed or remains missing.
Yafa Adar, 85
Adar is a founder of Nir Oz and was the oldest person to be taken hostage. A video of her being taken into Gaza on a golf cart driven by Hamas militants went viral shortly after her abduction. “Her eldest grandson, Tamir Adar, a 38-year-old father-of-two, was also abducted, and is still held hostage,” a Nir Oz spokesperson said.
Margalit Moses, 77
The mother-of-three and grandmother of 10 is a retired biology teacher. She is also a cancer survivor who has diabetes, “fibromyalgia, and takes many additional medications,” said the Hostages and Missing Families Forum in Israel. The nature lover planned on traveling to Mozambique this winter.
Hana Katzir, 76
She is also a member of Kibbutz Nir Oz and the wife of the late Rami Katzir, 79, who was killed in their home. “A mother of three and grandmother of six. Her son Elad, 47 years old, was also kidnapped and is still in Gaza,” said Nir Oz’s spokesperson.
Adina Moshe, 72
The retired educator and Nir Oz resident is a mother of four and grandmother of 12. Her husband David (Sa’id) Moshe was killed in their home on October 7.
Daniel Aloni, 45, and Emilia Aloni, 5
Daniel Aloni was among three women who appeared in a hostage video released by Hamas late last month. She came to Nir Oz to visit family and was abducted alongside her daughter Emilia. Her sister Sharon Aloni-Cunio and other family members were kidnapped and remain in Gaza, says the Nir Oz spokesperson.
Doron Katz Asher, 34, Raz Asher, 4, Aviv Asher, 2
Doron visited Nir Oz with her family and was kidnapped with her two daughters, Aviv and Raz, as well as other family members, including Efrat Katz. She lives in Ganot Hadar and works as an accountant.
Her cousin, Dori Roberts, told CNN in October that he received a video posted to social media showing the two women and the girls being taken hostage by militants in the southern Israel kibbutz of Nir Oz. “She looked so horrified, confused and shocked,” he said of his aunt, Efrat, in the video.
His aunt’s 79-year-old partner and another relative were also taken hostage, Roberts said. “Those endless thoughts about, ‘Where are they? How are they doing? What are they going through every minute of the day?’ That can really drive you insane,” said Roberts.
Channa Peri, 79
Peri, who lived in Kibbutz Nirim, immigrated to Israel from South Africa in the 1960s. She worked in a grocery store and is a mother of three – one of whom was murdered on October 7 and another kidnapped. “She has diabetes, and suffers severe vision loss in one of her eyes,” said the Hostages and Missing Families Forum in a statement.
Ruth Munder, 78, Karen Munder, 54, and Ohad Munder, 9
Ruth Munder, the 78-year-old Nir Oz resident who is a retired hairdresser and seamstress, was abducted along with her husband, her daughter Keren and her only grandson, Ohad. Her son, Roee, was killed on October 7, the Nir Oz spokesperson said. Her 78-year-old husband still remains in Gaza.
“She met her husband Avraham in the kibbutz… Ruth is a very talented woman, she was the librarian of the kibbutz and the seamstress. She also knits, paints, and sews. She is retired. Ruth attends classes and family trips,” said the Hostages and Missing Families Forum.
Keren Munder, 54, is a physical education teacher for children with special needs was born and raised in Nir Oz. She was abducted along with her only son, Ohad, and her parents, Ruth and Avraham, said the Kibbutz spokesperson.
Ohad Munder, 9, “came to Nir Oz to visit family” when he was abducted alongside family members, the kibbutz spokesperson for Nir Oz said.
The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday released the names of the 10 Thai nationals who had been freed by Hamas the previous day.
They are: Nattawaree Munkan, Santi Boonprom, Boonthom Pankhong, Mongkol Phachuabboon, Vetoon Phoome, Vichai Kalapat, Bancha Kongmanee, Buddhee Saengboon, Uthai Toonsri and Uthai Saengnuan.
Israeli farms employ thousands of Thai labourers, according to Israel’s ministry of interior.
Nattawaree Munkan’s mother, Boonyarin Srichan, lives in Thailand’s Khon Kaen province with her 8-year-old granddaughter. She revealed how she “cried out of my happiness” when she heard the news of Munkan’s release.
Gelienor “Jimmy” Pacheco, a Philippine citizen, had been working as a caretaker in Israel when he was taken hostage on October 7. Avishay Ben Zvi, the son of the man Pacheco had been working for, said after the release that Pacheco was doing better than expected and had spoken with his wife back in the Philippines.
A Polish citizen was among the hostages released from Gaza Friday, Poland’s foreign ministry said on Saturday.
The ministry did not provide any information on who the Polish citizen is, but used the feminine version of the noun for “citizen,” indicating the citizen is female. It is not yet known if she is a dual national.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
CNN’s Eve Brennan and Luke Wolagiewicz contributed to this report.