Israel to release 39 Palestinian detainees as part of a hostage deal

Israel is set to release 39 Palestinian detainees as part of a hostage deal mediated by Qatar. The detainees, who have been accused of various offenses including throwing stones and attempted murder, will be transferred from Ofer prison in the occupied West Bank to an Israeli military checkpoint. From there, they will be allowed to return home. The detainees were selected from a list of 300 women and minors compiled by Israel, with less than a quarter of them having been convicted. The majority of those on the list are teenage boys, with 40% of them being under the age of 18. The release of the detainees comes as a group of hostages currently in Gaza, held by Hamas, are set to be released to the custody of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who will then take them to Egypt at the Rafah border. The hostages are expected to arrive in Israel by 18:00 local time, where they will receive an initial medical assessment and then be reunited with their families in hospital. This exchange of hostages is part of a larger agreement between Israel and Hamas, which includes a four-day pause in the fighting, the release of 150 Palestinians held in Israeli jails, and an increase in humanitarian aid allowed into Gaza. The number of Palestinians held without charge in Israeli jails has risen since a cross-border attack by Hamas in October, with over 6,000 Palestinians now held by Israel on security grounds. This release of Palestinian detainees is a significant development in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has implications for issues of justice, human rights, and the possibility of future peace negotiations between the two parties.