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November 28, 2023 Israel-Hamas war

What we covered here

  • Twelve hostages, comprising 10 Israelis and two Thai citizens, were released by Hamas on Tuesday, according to officials. Thirty Palestinians were also freed from Israeli prisons, officials said.
  • The list of the sixth set of hostages expected to be freed Wednesday has been given to the Israeli government, and families are being notified, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
  • Over the first five days of the truce in Gaza, Hamas has released 81 hostages, primarily women and children. Israel has freed 180 Palestinians from prison — mainly women and minors — many of whom were detained but never charged.
  • Meanwhile, the CIA director, a central player in the Biden administration’s effort to negotiate a hostage deal, is in Qatar to push for a broader agreement that would include negotiations for men and soldiers, a source familiar with the talks tells CNN. 
  • Here's how to help humanitarian efforts in Israel and Gaza.
10:30 p.m. ET, November 28, 2023

Negotiators in Doha are working toward extending the pause in Gaza

Majed Al-Ansari, Qatar's foreign ministry spokesperson, holds a weekly briefing in Doha. Imad Creidi/Reuters

During discussions in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, officials representing Israel, the US, Qatar and Egypt were in consensus about working toward extending the current pause in the Israel-Hamas war to get more hostages out of Gaza, a source familiar with the discussions said. 

The expectation is that if everything goes well on the sixth day of the truce Wednesday —and Hamas releases at least 10 Israeli hostages as planned — Hamas could produce an additional list of hostages for the following day, extending the pause for another 24 hours, the source said. 

Negotiators believe there are enough women and children in Hamas captivity to extend the truce by two additional days before the discussion turns to men and soldier hostages, the source said. 

CIA Director Bill Burns, who traveled to the region to participate in discussions about next steps in the Israel-Hamas truce, was involved in discussions with his counterparts about eventually broadening the category of hostages to be released to men and soldiers, sources said. There were also talks related to getting the bodies of those killed by Hamas out of Gaza.

9:36 p.m. ET, November 28, 2023

Hamas has given Israel list of hostages expected to be released Wednesday

The list of the sixth set of hostages expected to be freed has been given to the Israeli government, and families are being notified, two sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.

This will be the second release in the extension of the truce.

Another group of 12 hostages, comprising 10 Israelis and two Thai citizens, were released by Hamas on Tuesday, according to officials. Thirty Palestinians were also freed from Israeli prisons, officials said.
7:43 p.m. ET, November 28, 2023

14-year-old freed Palestinian prisoner recounts being in Israeli detention during October 7 attacks

A 14-year-old Palestinian prisoner who was released Tuesday from Israeli custody recounted his experience as a detainee when the October 7 attacks occurred.

"On the first day (of the war), we heard women being beaten, there was repression and violence," Ahmad Slaimah told journalists about that day.

Ahmad said prisoners were provided with two meals a day but said this "wasn't enough" food and many "slept hungry." He criticized the poor communication between prison staff and prisoners. 

According to data gathered by CNN from the Palestinian Prisoner's Society and the Israeli prison authority, the Israel Prison Service, Ahmad had been held under detention but never sentenced for a crime. 

The young boy's father, Nayef Slaimah, told journalists that he is grateful for his son's release after he lost all contact with him after October 7. 

"When Ahmad was in prison, we couldn’t visit him,” his father said. 

CNN has asked the Israeli Prison Service about Ahmad's claims.

7:58 p.m. ET, November 28, 2023

2 Palestinians died after Jenin hospital was blocked by Israeli forces, charity care agency official says

Christos Christou, international president of the medical humanitarian aid organization Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres), speaks during an interview in Tokyo, Japan, on June 26, 2023. Kyodo News/Getty Images/FILE

Two Palestinians died after Israeli military vehicles blocked the entrance of the hospital in Jenin, denying the patients access to care for their wounds, according to Dr. Christos Christou, international president of Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

"For two hours, we were not able to leave to provide care and people could not reach us, as Israeli military vehicles blocked the entrance of the hospital and the road, preventing ambulances from leaving. Two Palestinians died of wounds while ambulances could not reach them, " Christou wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Christou said he was visiting the MSF team at the Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin in the occupied West Bank when the "Israeli army conducted an incursion on Jenin refugee camp."

"This must stop now. Patients should have access to healthcare at all times," Christou wrote. 
"There's nothing worse for a doctor to know that there are people there needing our care and they cannot get it," Christou said in a video posted on X.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) told CNN that clashes were ongoing in Jenin.

“The IDF is conducting counterterrorism activities in the area,” the IDF said, adding that it would not provide any more details until operations were completed.

7:27 p.m. ET, November 28, 2023

White House hopeful some Americans could be released Wednesday

The White House said it remains hopeful that some Americans may be released Wednesday as part of the two-day extension of the initial pause in hostilities between Hamas and Israel. 

“No Americans, unfortunately, now today. But we're hopeful, tomorrow's another day, and we certainly hope that we can see some more Americans come out,” National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby told reporters Tuesday.

Kirby said that there remains no indication “at all” that Hamas not releasing American hostages is some sort of tactic or leverage, pointing to the small pool of Americans being held captive and the difficult logistics. 

“We want to see all the hostages released and so there be extended pauses beyond these two days extension then you know, we're in favor of that. And we're going to keep working on this, as I said, hour by hour with all our partners in the region," Kirby said.

He declined to say more when asked to put a likelihood on whether another extension will be agreed to by all parties.  

Kirby said Israel has an “added burden” as it plans for potential offensives in southern Gaza to account for civilian lives when the truce is over. Israel previously urged thousands of Gaza to move to that part of the enclave due to its offensive in the north.

“So it's even all that more of an added burden on Israel to make sure that as they start to plan for operations in the south, whatever that looks like, that they have properly accounted for the innocent life — the extra innocent life that is now in south Gaza,” he said. 

7:07 p.m. ET, November 28, 2023

Thailand’s foreign minister welcomes release of 2 Thai hostages

The two Thai nationals who were released from Gaza on Tuesday arrived at the Shamir Medical Center in Israel and were met by Thai Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, Thailand’s foreign ministry announced. 

The minister “congratulated them on their safe release and expressed his hope that they would return home as soon as possible,” the ministry said.

The two were also welcomed at the hospital by the 17 Thai nationals previously released by Hamas. 

The hostages are undergoing medical checkups, the foreign ministry said.

6:39 p.m. ET, November 28, 2023

Hamas releases a dozen more hostages on 5th day of truce with Israel. Here's what to know

A new group of hostages held in the Gaza Strip was released Tuesday as the truce between Israel and Hamas extended into its fifth day. The last day is set to be Wednesday although diplomatic efforts are underway to maintain the pause in fighting.

Meantime, the Israel Defense Forces said it's getting ready to resume its military campaign against Hamas when that truce ends.

Here's what you need to know:
  • More hostages released: Hamas released 12 more hostages Tuesday — 10 Israelis and two Thai citizens, according to the IDF and the Israeli prime minister's office. Some of the Israelis hold dual citizenship, the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum in Israel said. No Americans were released, even though the White House previously said two women were expected to be freed as part of the deal announced between Israel and Hamas last week.
  • Palestinian detainees freed: In compliance with the truce agreement, a total of 30 Palestinians were released Tuesday from Israeli prisons in Damon, Megiddo and Ofer, the Israeli prison service said. A bus believed to be carrying some of the released Palestinians arrived in the occupied West Bank. 
  • Status of the truce: The agreement between Israel and Hamas was extended Monday for two additional days. Now Hamas is "striving to extend the truce," a member of the militant group's political bureau said. Ghazi Hamad said Hamas is using all of the cards it has in negotiations. On Tuesday, the fifth day of the pause, Hamas and Israel clashed in northern Gaza — a skirmish both sides said was a violation of the ongoing agreement.
  • Pause allows aid to head for Gaza: The United States airlifted more than 54,000 pounds of medical items and food to a logistics hub in Egypt to be brought into Gaza, according to US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. The US military said it will fly three planeloads of humanitarian aid in the coming days. United Nations officials have also been emphasizing the increased need for assistance, especially the need for supplies to operate critical services and sectors like sewage, water or hospitals.

  • Israel and the US look ahead: Israel is using the truce period to strengthen its readiness for combat to resume, the IDF chief of staff said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country's military operation will continue until Gaza is “no longer a threat to Israel," which includes freeing all of the hostages and eliminating Hamas "above and below the ground." US officials have told Israeli counterparts that they do not support operations in southern Gaza — which some Israeli officials said military actions could be carried out across the enclave.
  • CIA chief visits region: CIA Director Bill Burns visited Qatar on Tuesday for meetings with Qatari officials as well as his Israeli and Egyptian counterparts to push for a broader hostage deal that would expand beyond women and children to include negotiations for men and soldiers, a source familiar with the talks told CNN.

7:05 p.m. ET, November 28, 2023

New videos show hostage handover on Tuesday in Gaza

The French news agency, Agence France-Presse, released video clips of the handover of the 12 hostages on Tuesday. 

The videos show large crowds lining the street of Rafah cheering and using their phones to capture images as the hostages are paraded by Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters to the waiting Red Cross vehicles.

The scenes are starkly different from Monday’s handover, which a Hamas propaganda video showed happening on a dark and empty street.

One of the Tuesday clips shows an elderly woman being handed over in a wheelchair and some in the crowd could be heard yelling "Allahu Akbar," which means "God is great" in Arabic.  

Hamas has also released a highly produced edited video showing a similar scene as the AFP clips, but CNN is not showing the propaganda video released.

Correction: This post has been updated with the correct location for the handover of the 12 hostages in Gaza.