The military wing of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says it has released two more female captives on humanitarian grounds.
Abu Ubaida, the spokesman for al-Qassam Brigades, made the announcement in a post on his Telegram channel on Monday, saying, “We decided to release them on humanitarian and health grounds.”
Al-Qassam Brigades also said in a statement that the two Israeli women, identified as Nurit Yitzhak and Yochved Lifshitz, were released through Egyptian mediation, the Palestinian Information Center reported.
The statement added that these were the same two captives that Israeli authorities had previously refused to accept receiving them, accusing the occupying regime of ignoring the situation of its captives.
“We decided to release them for compelling humanitarian and medical reasons despite the occupation committing more than eight violations of the procedures that were agreed upon with mediators,” the statement said.
The official Egyptian news agency said on Monday evening that the two elderly female detainees, who were released by al-Qassam Brigades, had arrived at the Egyptian Rafah crossing.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said it had also helped with the case and the transportation of the women out of Gaza.
The Hamas movement had originally decided to free the two ageing women on Saturday. The spokesman for al-Qassam Brigades said in a short statement back then that “the occupation regime refused to receive them.”
The new development came after last Friday, the brigades freed two American detainees for “humanitarian reasons” through mediation of Qatari officials.
Following their release, Abu Ubaida said in a statement that the mother and daughter were set free “to prove to the American people and the world that the allegations made by (US President Joe) Biden and his fascist administration are false and have no basis in truth.”
He had previously said that the number of Israelis who have been captured during Operation al-Aqsa Storm, which started on October 7, is around 250. He noted that 200 of those captives were held by al-Qassam Brigades, while the rest were kept by other Palestinian resistance factions.
Hamas has already announced that the movement does not see civilians as bargaining chips, stressing that they would be released in due course when “field conditions allow.”
Operation al-Aqsa Storm was launched by the Gaza Strip-based Palestinian resistance movements on October 7 in response to the regime’s campaign of bloodshed and destruction against Palestinian people.
Following the operation, Israel began an all-out war on Gaza from air, sea and land. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, the Israeli onslaught has so far killed over 5,000 Palestinians, including 2,055 children and 1,119 women. More than 15,000 people have also been injured.