November 26, 2023 Israel-Hamas war

By Chris Lau, Ivana Kottasová, Sophie Tanno, Tara Subramaniam, Antoinette Radford and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 12:11 AM ET, Mon November 27, 2023
41 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
10:25 p.m. ET, November 26, 2023

Family of Omri Miran, Israeli hostage in Gaza, says they've received confirmation he's alive 

From CNN's Alex Stambaugh 

Moshe Lavi speaks during an interview with CNN.
Moshe Lavi speaks during an interview with CNN. CNN

The brother-in-law of Omri Miran, an Israeli hostage still in Gaza, told CNN that the family received confirmation that Miran was still alive as of Sunday morning. 

"An hour and a half ago, my sister called me with tears of joy because Omri, my brother-in-law, was confirmed to be alive as of this morning. It was a relief for us to learn that," Moshe Lavi told CNN's Kaitlan Collins. "Receiving this proof of life has been instrumental for us and will give us strength and hope to continue our mission until Omri returns, until everyone is home." 

Lavi said the family had received a call from a representative for the Israeli authorities confirming Miran was alive, but that no further details were provided. 

The past few days have been an "emotional rollercoaster", Lavi said, seeing photos and videos of freed hostages being reunited with their families, while at the same time knowing there are hostages still in Gaza that have yet to be released. 

"It's mixed emotions, but we are delighted that at least we see the beginning or possibly the end of the hostage crisis," Lavi told CNN.  

All those released so far under the terms of the deal struck between Israel and Hamas have been women or children, putting the greatest strain on family members with male relatives held hostage.

"Those who are in the Gaza Strip are someone's sons, someone's fathers, someone's grandparents and brothers and they're not merely men, they are meaningful human beings to someone else and I hope that we will see them back," he said.  

Lavi's sister, Lishai Lavi, her husband Omri and their two young daughters were at home in Nahal Oz when Hamas gunmen broke into their homes during the October 7th attack and held them hostage. Hamas eventually kidnapped Omri, while Lishai and their daughters survived. 

10:25 p.m. ET, November 26, 2023

84 year old freed hostage in critical condition, hospital says

From CNN's Jennifer Griffiths and Alex Stambaugh 

An undated photo of Alma Avraham.
An undated photo of Alma Avraham. Hostages and Missing Families Forum/AP

Eighty-four year old Alma Avraham, who was among the Israeli hostages freed Sunday from Gaza, is in critical condition and has been admitted to the intensive care unit of Soroka Medical Center, according to the hospital. 

"She is in critical condition, she is treated in the emergency department after significant medical neglect for the past several weeks while being held by Hamas. She is currently in unstable condition with risks to her life," Dr. Shlomi Codish, CEO of Soroka Medical Center said in a video statement on Sunday. 

Avraham was released alone Sunday and she apparently has no relatives among the hostages.

The group of 17 hostages released by Hamas Sunday included 13 Israelis and four foreign nationals.

10:24 p.m. ET, November 26, 2023

Israeli military spokesperson claims Hamas violated deal by not releasing teenage hostage's mother

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

An undated photo of Hila Rotem.
An undated photo of Hila Rotem. Hostages and Missing Families Forum via AP

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is claiming Hamas violated the terms of the truce by releasing a teenage girl without her mother.

On Saturday, 13-year-old Hila Rotem was freed without her mother Raaya Rotem despite demands from Israeli officials. 

"They were supposed to not split families, but they released a teenaged girl and they kept her mother, Raaya, in captivity," IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told CNN.

When the IDF asked about Hila's mother, Hamas claimed they did not know where she is, Conricus said.

"The daughter tells us that they were together up until two days before the release," Conricus said, adding he believes Hamas kept Raaya Rotem to maintain leverage. 

"They want to leverage each and every Israeli in their captivity for political pressure," Conricus said. 

Conricus said the IDF has indications that Hamas has been moving hostages during the truce period. 

"Our security agencies are debriefing and asking questions and trying to learn as much as possible from these women and children," he said. 

7:27 p.m. ET, November 26, 2023

Hamas releases new video showing handover of hostages to Red Cross in Gaza City

From CNN's Andrew Carey

Hamas has released a video showing the group hand over a third group of hostages to Red Cross officials inside Gaza.

Unlike two previous videos of hostage releases, this one shows a handover taking place in Gaza City — a move apparently aimed at projecting Hamas strength in a location where Israeli troops have focused their ground operations.

Like the two previous videos, Sunday’s release is made up of a series of edited clips and was released on the social media platforms of Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing. CNN was not present at any of the locations when the clips were filmed, and had no control over the content.  

What the clips show: Crowds of people are seen gathered along the side of the road cheering as vans apparently carrying the hostages are driven to a handover point on Gaza City square, opposite the municipal building in the center of the city.

The handover is believed to be the first to have taken place in the northern part of the strip, which is where Israeli forces launched their ground offensive more than four weeks ago. 

Armed men form a guard awaiting the arrival of the Red Cross, an apparent projection of strength aimed at showing Hamas is still in control of a central location in Gaza City.

After the Red Cross vehicles arrive, the video shows a female hostage being carried by two Hamas fighters toward a Red Cross car. Subsequent clips show several adults and children also being escorted toward officials.

Further clips show the three Thai nationals and the dual Russian-Israeli citizen who were also released Sunday being transferred into Red Cross' hands.

There is no audio on any of the clips.

6:42 p.m. ET, November 26, 2023

A 4-year-old American was among those freed in another exchange between Israel and Hamas. Here's the latest

From CNN staff

Undated photo of Abigail Edan.
Undated photo of Abigail Edan. Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali

Another 17 hostages held in Gaza have been released on Sunday, the third such handover during a four-day truce between Israel and Hamas.

The group was made up of Israelis, dual Israeli citizens and Thai nationals, Israel's military said.

Among the freed hostages was 4-year-old American-Israeli Abigail Edan whose release marks the first time an American hostage has been successfully freed since the start of the truce. US President Joe Biden, who praised Edan's release in an address Sunday, spoke with the girl's family Sunday afternoon, according to the White House.

The 4-year-old is now receiving treatment at a hospital near Tel Aviv, a spokesperson from the Hostage and Missing Families’ Forum told CNN. The 16 other freed hostages had also been transferred to hospitals by late Sunday evening local time, according to information released by Israel’s Ministry of Health.

Officials released a full list of the freed hostages' names and ages. They include two mothers with their children and a pair of siblings.

If you’re just joining us, here are today's other key headlines:

Palestinian teens released from Israel jails: Thirty-nine prisoners and detainees from a total of seven Israeli prisons were released Sunday as part of the deal between Israel and Hamas, the Israel Prison Service confirmed. The group is made up of boys aged 18 and younger; two are 15, and one — the youngest released — is 14.

Twenty-three of those released had been held under administrative detention, a widely criticized practice in which a detainee is unaware of any charges against them, and their case is not subject to any legal process.

Talks of extending truce: Hamas wants to extend its four-day truce with Israel beyond Monday through an agreement to free more imprisoned Palestinians, it said in a statement after the latest transfer. Israel's war cabinet discussed the possibility at its meeting Sunday evening, a source told CNN, and their conditions remain unchanged: Hamas would need to release an additional 10 hostages for each additional day’s pause in the fighting.

Key nations also support extension: US President Joe Biden's goal is to extend the pause in fighting to try to ensure the safe release of more hostages and to get critical aid to civilians in the enclave, he said in a news conference Sunday. Qatar, which played a central role in mediating the original agreement, said it too was hoping to extend the truce.

Aid trucks enter Gaza: At least 120 aid trucks have entered Gaza through the Rafah border on Sunday, the Egyptian government confirmed. The delivery of aid to Gaza has been a key factor in sustaining the truce and exchanges between Israel and Hamas.

Hostages leave hospital: Some Israelis from the first wave of released hostages — members of two families — have been discharged from the Schneider Children’s Medical Hospital in Israel, it announced Sunday. They are the first former hostages to be discharged.

Palestinians killed in West Bank: Eight Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire in the occupied West Bank over the course of 24 hours, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement Sunday. CNN has asked the Israel Defense Forces for comment about the killings.

This post has been updated with the latest on the freed hostages and talks to potentially extend the truce.

5:06 p.m. ET, November 26, 2023

Efforts are underway to return hostages held by other groups in Gaza, US national security adviser says

From CNN’s Betsy Klein

There are efforts to return hostages held in Gaza by groups other than Hamas, a top US official said Sunday.

“We also are aware that it’s not just Hamas holding hostages. Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another terrorist group that participated in the brutal massacre on October 7, is holding some — and other groups who are not directly affiliated but have loose connections to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas are also holding hostages,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. 

“Part of the effort here is to ensure all of these groups somehow get connected to a deal in which every last possible hostage in Gaza who is still alive gets turned back over and reunited with their families.”

Implementation is currently underway to return at least 50 women and children through a negotiated deal with Hamas, which continued with the release of 17 hostages hours after Sullivan's interview.

Sullivan also spoke to CNN Sunday morning.

4:20 p.m. ET, November 26, 2023

Israel's war cabinet has discussed the possibility of extending the Gaza truce, source says

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins in Tel Aviv

Israel’s war cabinet discussed the possibility of extending the temporary truce with Hamas when it met Sunday evening, an Israeli source told CNN.

The source said conditions for an extension remain unchanged from the original agreement, which means Hamas needs to release an additional 10 hostages for each additional day’s pause in the fighting.

Remember: Israel and Hamas reached a deal last week for a four-day pause in fighting and the release of at least 50 women and children held hostage in Gaza.

The deal involved hostages who were held captive by Hamas being released in exchange for a number of Palestinian women and children in Israeli jails. The truce, meanwhile, also allowed the entry of “a larger number of humanitarian convoys and relief aid." The first release of hostages and prisoners took place on Friday, with others taking place Saturday and Sunday.

3:43 p.m. ET, November 26, 2023

Hamas says it wants to extend 4-day truce

From CNN’s Ibrahim Dahman

Palestinians walk through destruction in Gaza City on November 24, as the temporary truce between Israel and Hamas took effect.
Palestinians walk through destruction in Gaza City on November 24, as the temporary truce between Israel and Hamas took effect. Mohammed Hajjar/AP

Hamas says it wants to extend its four-day truce with Israel, which has entered its third day and has now seen the release of three groups of Israeli hostages from Gaza and three groups of Palestinian prisoners and detainees from Israeli jails.

In a statement released Sunday evening, Hamas said it wants “to extend the truce after the four-day period ends, through serious efforts to increase the number of those released from imprisonment as stipulated in the humanitarian ceasefire agreement.”

Earlier this weekend, Qatar, which played a central role in mediating the agreement, said it too was hoping to extend the truce, which includes provision for an extension of one extra day for every ten hostages Hamas is ready to free.

"What we are hoping for is that the momentum that has carried from the releases … and from this agreement of four days will allow us to extend the truce beyond these four days, and therefore get into more serious discussions about the rest of the hostages," Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Majed Al-Ansari, told CNN on Saturday.

US President Joe Biden also expressed wanting to extend the pause in fighting during remarks Sunday.