Israel-Hamas war: 2 hostages released, more expected after truce extended

Israel announced that two more hostages were released by Hamas on Thursday, the seventh day of a humanitarian truce in the weekslong war.

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The hostages were identified by officials as Amit Soussana, 40, and Mia Shem, 21. They were handed over to Red Cross officials before being returned to Israel, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

More hostages are expected to be released later Thursday, hours after officials agreed to extend a humanitarian truce in the war that was sparked Oct. 7. An earlier agreement reached between Israel and Hamas allows for humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza and for the release of women and children being held by either side.

The agreement was reached with joint mediation from Qatar, Egypt and the U.S.

White House officials have said they hope to keep the ceasefire going for as long as possible, with Israel indicating that it is open to pausing fighting so long as at least 10 Israeli hostages are released each day.

Since the ceasefire began Friday, Hamas has released 105 hostages in exchange for the release of 210 Palestinian civilians. About 145 hostages are believed to still be in Hamas custody.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said that in the first six days of the truce, its staff got 1,132 aid trucks through the Rafah Crossing.

Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7, killing an estimated 1,200 people and taking hundreds of people hostage, according to NPR. Thousands of people have died in the conflict, although exact numbers remain unclear.