Officials from both Israel and the Palestinian organization Hamas announced an agreement to prolong a temporary ceasefire in Gaza for an additional two days, and shortly after, Hamas freed another set of captives.
Following the horrific strikes by Hamas terrorists on Israel on October 7th and the subsequent shelling of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military, the conflict finally came to a halt last week as a result of continuing discussions.
According to Israel’s security agencies, the eleven captives have returned to Israeli soil. The Red Cross said that it had taken custody of the rescued individuals.
The spokesman for Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Majed Al-Ansari, said the group consisted of six Argentineans, two Germans, and three Frenchmen. Israel is freeing 33 Palestinians from Israeli jails, including 30 in their late teens and three women, according to Al-Ansari.
The interim ceasefire, originally supposed to last four days, had been extended by two days, according to mediator nation Qatar, which made the announcement.
The extension was confirmed during a press conference conducted immediately after Qatar’s statement by John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council. Kirby stated that over the next few days, Hamas had committed to return 20 more captives held in Gaza to Israel and that they were also trying to prolong the cease-fire.
A committee of lawmakers in the Knesset heard testimony from relatives of the released Israeli captives and a source from the Israeli health ministry who said that the hostages had been given sedatives by Hamas before their release to render them calm and content.
According to a report, the drugging was done to make the captives seem cheerful and tranquil after they had endured psychological horror, physical assault, and deprivation for over 50 days in Gaza.
Clonazepam is singled out as the drug used, according to Dr. Hagar Mizrahi, who heads the medical section of the Health Ministry. The medication is used for the treatment and prevention of seizures, anxiety disorders, psychotic agitation, bipolar mania, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It is marketed by the brand names Rivotril, Klonopin, and Clonex.