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Montevideo, March 3rd 2024 - 22:21 UTC

 

 

Four more Argentines freed by Hamas

Wednesday, November 29th 2023 - 10:09 UTC
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Some 15 Argentines are believed to still be in the hands of Hamas or other groups Some 15 Argentines are believed to still be in the hands of Hamas or other groups

The terrorist group Hamas Tuesday released ten women, four of them Argentine nationals, in exchange for another batch of 30 Palestinian inmates held by Israel at the Ofer prison in the West Bank and in the Russian prison in Jerusalem, as the humanitarian truce was extended to allow for further swaps. Two other hostages were also freed as a bonus not contemplated in the agreement.

The Argentine-Israelis released are Ofelia Roitman, Clara Marman, Gabriela Leimberg, and Mia Leimberg, the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires reported. They had been captured during the Oct. 7 raids into Israeli territory. Fifteen Argentines are believed to still be in the hands of Hamas or other groups in Gaza.

Israeli authorities said the hostages were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and transferred to Israeli territory through the Rafah crossing into Egypt.

Hamas has so far released 50 Israeli hostages plus 19 of other nationalities outside the truce agreement brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the United States, while Israel handed over 150 Palestinians.

Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza are still holding some 160 of the 240 hostages captured in their October 7 attacks in southern Israel, which sparked the escalation and also left some 1,200 people dead, mostly civilians.

The number of hostages held by Hamas would be enough to potentially extend the truce for another two weeks under the existing negotiating framework, but the Islamists are expected to place much higher demands for the release of the captive soldiers.

Israel said it would extend the cease-fire by one day for every additional 10 hostages released, but repeatedly hinted that it will relaunch its offensive with “full force” to dismantle Hamas once this agreement expires, which also calls for the Israeli army to allow in humanitarian aid for Gaza's population.

After the Oct. 7 attacks, 18 Argentines were taken to the Gaza Strip. The first group of these South American citizens was freed on Monday. (See also: https://en.mercopress.com/2023/11/28/hamas-releases-six-argentine-hostages )

Ofelia Feler de Roitman is 77 years old and the oldest Argentinean among the hostages. That Saturday, she was alone in her home, as her husband was in the hospital for hip surgery. After her release, her son Damian said it was “impossible to describe what went through our minds when we saw the first photos. We are very excited and happy.”

Gabriela Leimberg, born in Argentina, immigrated to Israel in the late 1990s and started her family. Gabriela is the sister of Clara Marman, who was also released on Tuesday. On Saturday, October 7, 2023, Gabriela, her daughter Mia, and her dog Bella were at her sister's house in Kibbutz Nir-Yitzhak to celebrate Clara's granddaughter's birthday when they were abducted. Mia, daughter of Gabriela and Moshe Leimberg, is 17 years old and a senior at the Jerusalem School of the Arts.

Tags: Hamas, Israel.

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