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Israel receives 6th batch of hostages released by Hamas, says assault will resume as truce ends

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Jerusalem: The Israeli government confirmed late Wednesday night that the sixth batch of hostages released from the Gaza Strip by Hamas has returned to Israel.

The 16 hostages, including 12 Israelis — some holding dual citizenship — and four Thai nationals, will undergo an initial medical examination before being escorted by security forces to hospitals to reunite with their families, according to statements issued by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and Israel Defence Forces (IDF).

The four-day humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, scheduled to expire on Tuesday morning, was extended by two days, the Qatari Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

Israel did not comment on the extension, but said early Tuesday that it approved the release of 50 more female Palestinian prisoners if “more Israeli hostages are released.”

More than 200 hostages were taken to Gaza by Hamas militants during their Oct. 7 surprise attack on Israel, which retaliated by launching deadly airstrikes and a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.

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