Thirteen Israelis and four Thai nationals freed by Hamas arrived in Israel on Sunday, the second step in a major hostage arrangement that momentarily threatened to unravel owing to a disagreement over the transfer of assistance supplies into Gaza.
The short-lived debate that threatened the temporary truce to liberate captives was resolved through the mediation of Qatar and Egypt, but it highlighted the fragile nature of the arrangement, which calls for the exchange of 50 Israeli hostages for 150 Palestinian prisoners over four days.
As Hamas turned up the detainees to the International Committee of the Red Cross late Saturday, a television video showed hostages on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing after leaving Gaza. Six of the thirteen Israelis released were women, while seven were children and teens.
"The hostages have been released and are on their way to hospitals in Israel, where they will be reunited with their families," the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said in a statement.
Six women and 33 children were among the Palestinian captives freed from two Israeli jails, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA. According to a Reuters witness, some of those released arrived at Al-Bireh Municipality Square in Ramallah, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where thousands of citizens awaited them.
The swap comes after Hamas released 13 additional Israeli captives, including children and the elderly, on Friday in exchange for the release of 39 Palestinian women and teenagers from Israeli jails.
Hamas also freed 10 Thai farm laborers and a Filipino on Friday.