newsIsrael at War

Hamas accused of violating truce by separating mother, child

Twelve-year-old Hila Rotem Shoshani's mother, Raya, was not among the 13 Israeli hostages released on Saturday.

Hila Rotem Shoshani, 12, with her mother, Raya Rotem. Courtesy photo via TPS.
Hila Rotem Shoshani, 12, with her mother, Raya Rotem. Courtesy photo via TPS.

Kibbutz Be’eri, from where 12 of the 13 Israeli hostages released on Saturday were kidnapped by Hamas on Oct. 7, says Hamas has violated the terms of its ceasefire agreement with Israel by not releasing 12-year-old Hila Rotem Shoshani’s mother.

“Hila is returning home without her mother, Raya [Rotem], who remains in captivity. Hamas grossly violated the agreement and separated mother and daughter,” according to the statement.

“Three children from two families from the kibbutz were torn from their only remaining parent,” the statement continued.

Hamas agreed to release mothers and children together as part of the agreement, an Israeli government official confirmed to CNN on Saturday.

“That’s part of the deal,” the official said. “It’s unknown where she [Raya] is and what happened to her.”

However, Ynet reported on Saturday night that the agreement does not explicitly state that families must be released together, only “a Hamas commitment to make an effort not to break up families.”

When Israel received the list on Friday of the hostages to be released on Saturday, it was noticed that Hila’s mother was not on the list and Mossad chief David Barnea “put heavy pressure on the Qataris to improve the list,” without success, Ynet reported.

At the time that Israel received the list, it also noticed that Mia Regev, 21, was freed without her 18-year-old brother Itai, and demanded he be added in addition to Raya. Mia and Itai were taken captive at the Supernova Music Festival, where terrorists killed more than 360 people.

“There was optimism that it would be resolved, but as the hours passed the difficulties became clear,” according to the Ynet article.

Two other families were also broken up.

Adi Shoham, 38, and her children Yahel, 3, and Naveh, 8, were freed without their husband and father, Tal.

Alma Or, 13, and Noam Or, 16, were released without their father, Dror.

Thirteen Israelis and four foreign nationals were freed on Saturday as part of a four-day ceasefire agreement.

The Israelis freed on Saturday: Mia Regev, 21; Emily Hand, 8; Hila Rotem Shoshani, 12; siblings Alma Or, 13, and Noam Or, 16; Sharon Hertzman Avigdori, 52, and her daughter Noam, 12; Shiri Weiss, 53, and her daughter Noga, 18; Shoshan Haran, 67, her daughter Adi Shoham, 38, and her children Yahel, 3, and Neve, 8.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin released the names of the four Thai citizens who were freed on Saturday night. They are Natthaphon Onkaew, Khomkrit Chombua, Anucha Angkaew and Manee Jirachat.

Hamas terrorists kidnapped some 240 people during the terrorist organization’s murderous assault on southern Israel on Oct. 7.

Hamas released the 13 hostages on Saturday after a delay of around seven hours after it accused Israel of violating the terms of the truce.

Israel received the third list of hostages to be released by Hamas in Gaza early Sunday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said that it had received the list and that security officials were checking it and families were being notified.

Israeli Health Ministry spokeswoman Shira Solomon said that Soroka, Sheba and Shamir medical centers had received the hostages freed on Saturday. Twelve of the Israelis went to Sheba in Ramat Gan, with the hospital saying that none required urgent attention.

“After a very long night of anticipation, at around 3:30 a.m., 12 hostages were transferred here, and I am happy to inform you that, although the days of captivity are evident on them, none of them need urgent and immediate intervention,” said children’s hospital chief Professor Itai Pessach.

“We will continue to support them physically and mentally.”

Regev is hospitalized at Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Center in moderate condition with a gunshot wound and is expected to fully recover.

The four Thais were being treated at Shamir in Be’er Ya’akov. None required urgent medical treatment.

“In the hospital, they will meet with their family members and receive medical and psychological care as needed,” said Solomon.

The Israel Defense Forces early Sunday published video and pictures of some of the freed hostages greeting family members, including Rotem Shoshani with her uncle and another family member, and Hand with her father, Tom, a 64-year-old Irish immigrant.

Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar drew criticism for celebrating the “lost” Hand being “found,” without mentioning that she was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and her release being conditioned upon Israel having to free Palestinian terrorists.

“Mr. Prime Minister, Emily Hand was not lost, maybe you have lost your moral compass and your connection to reality,” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen wrote on X.

“Emily Hand was kidnapped by a terrorist organization worse than ISIS after her stepmother was murdered. Emily and over 30 other Israeli children were kidnapped by Hamas, and you are trying to legitimize it. Shame on you!”

Twenty-six Israeli and 15 foreign abductees, including 14 Thais and one Filipino, were returned to Israel over the weekend. There are believed to be 195 abductees still in captivity in the Gaza Strip.

U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with the emir and the prime minister of Qatar on Saturday night, reportedly discussing obstacles to the implementation of the deal and mechanisms to resolve them as soon as possible. They agreed to stay in close contact. Qatar and Egypt have been mediating the terms of the agreement between Israel and Hamas.

The ceasefire went into effect at 7 a.m. on Friday.

Under the terms of the deal, approved by the Israeli Cabinet last 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, up to five days.

Under the agreement, the IDF 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, more than 50 of which were 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.

COGAT posted a picture to its X social media account of a Hamas checkpoint stopping trucks carrying humanitarian aid from reaching the residents of the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday afternoon.

“To Hamas, residents of Gaza are their last priority,” the tweet read.

Israel also agreed to commute the sentences of at least 150 female and teenage Palestinian security prisoners, or three terrorists for every hostage released.

On Friday, Jerusalem freed 39 Palestinian terrorists from Israeli jails. Another 39 were released on Saturday for a total of 78 terrorists freed under the agreement thus far.

The first group of 13 Israeli women and children was released on Friday, 49 days after Hamas terrorists kidnapped them during the Oct. 7 massacre.

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.

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