The radical Palestinian movement Hamas claims to have handed over two detained Russian women to workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), AFP and Reuters inform. According to the movement, the organization will hand over the women to representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The Qassam Brigades, which is the armed wing of Hamas, said on the Telegram network that it released two Russian women on Wednesday afternoon “at the request of the Russian leadership.” Hamas already freed 25-year-old Russian Ron Krivoy on Sunday. The group said it did so as a sign of gratitude for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stance.
Since Friday last week, when the first cease-fire in Israel’s fighting with Hamas since October 7 came into effect, Hamas has released over eighty hostages, including foreigners. Most of them were freed thanks to a temporary ceasefire agreement brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the United States. About two dozen foreigners, mostly Thais, were released by Hamas on the basis of other agreements. At the same time, Israel released 180 Palestinians from its prisons.
The agreement on the four-day truce, which was supposed to end this week on Tuesday morning, has so far been extended by two days, i.e. until Thursday morning. Negotiators with the participation of Qatar and Egypt are trying to further extend the ceasefire. But according to the Times of Israel website, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised that Israel would continue its military campaign to topple Hamas.