Israeli officials have confirmed that Hamas terrorist organization released two more Israeli hostages, an 80-year-old woman and an 85-year-old woman, of the 222 people who were kidnapped during the massacre on October 7.
The terrorist organization claimed that the release was brokered through the mediation of Qatar and Egypt. The two were released to Egypt and were handed over to the Red Cross. Their families are on their way to meet them.
The released hostages were identified as Nurit Cooper and Yocheved Lifshitz. They were kidnapped from their homes in Kibbutz Nahal Oz by Hamas terrorists on October 7. Both women do not have dual citizenship. Their husbands remain in Hamas' clutches.
Shortly after 1:00 a.m., the two arrived by military helicopter at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. The hospital stated that upon their arrival, they will undergo a medical examination and evaluation.
Oded Lifshitz, Yocheved's husband, is a veteran left-wing journalist. Their grandson, Daniel, said upon hearing the news of his grandmother's release: "We are happy and excited about the release of my grandmother and Nurit We hope she is in good condition. We will go to see her. She crossed the Rafah crossing to the Egyptian side. Very soon we will see her and be united with her. We hope this is only a prelude to the release of all the abductees. The first thing I will tell her is that I love her."
Gal Hirsch, Coordinator for the Captives and Missing, said, "Nurit Cooper's husband Amiram (85) and Yocheved Lifshitz's husband Oded (83), who were abducted with them are still being held by the brutal terrorist organization along with the other captives, and we will continue to do everything possible for their return."
"The IDF and the security forces have been very active in recent days, on all channels, in order to achieve their release and to overcome the many difficulties that Hamas has created. Following their handover to the IDF, they are currently en route to a hospital in Israel, which has been specially prepared to receive them, and where their families are waiting for them," he added.
"We thank Egypt, for its assistance, and the Red Cross for their important role in saving lives. The Government of Israel, the IDF and the entire security establishment will continue to work with the best capabilities, and make every effort, to locate all of the missing and bring all of the captives back home," said Hirsch.
Hamas previously released two hostages with American citizenship on Friday.
Earlier this evening, IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari commented on the delay of the IDF's ground entry into the Gaza Strip and said that the delay is not due to a lack of preparedness on the part of the military.
"We are ready and are increasing our readiness. This is the role of the army, to be ready, and there are tactical, operative, and strategic considerations here as well," Hagari stressed.
He added, "We are looking at the entire Middle East and it is good that there are serious discussions on the issue. We will continue these discussions and update those who need to be updated. Yes, we are ready. There is a set of considerations and there is a political level."
When asked about the publications related to the potential release of Hamas abductees who possess dual passports, he replied, "We conduct civil, operational intelligence efforts around the clock. We have only consideration: the pictures, the faces, the children, the parents, and the elderly who were torn from their families and taken to Gaza."
"We don't care who carries this or that passport. What race, gender, or religion he is from. What concerns us is the return of the abductees, and we will do whatever it takes to make that happen. I suggest you listen to our reports. There will be all kinds of rumors, We will report the truth to the public," clarified Hagari.