AFPThe first trucks with aid supplies enter Gaza
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 13:48
On the first day of the agreed ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, the first trucks with aid supplies entered the area. The intention is that the first Israeli hostages will be released by Hamas this afternoon.
The truce went into effect at 6 a.m. and will last for the next four days. Before then, there was still heavy fighting in the Gaza Strip, as plumes of smoke showed on webcam images. It is unclear whether there were any casualties last night.
Around 7:30 am the first aid trucks drove into the Gaza Strip via Egypt. Two trucks carried banners reading “Together for humanity.” Another read: “For our brothers in Gaza.” According to the Israeli army, eight trucks contained fuel and cooking gas. Trucks with medical supplies are also going to Gaza.
These were the first trucks to enter Gaza since the ceasefire began:
First aid trucks enter Gaza
Thirteen Israeli hostages are expected to be released by Hamas today. They will be handed over to Israel at 3:00 PM Dutch time. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, this will most likely happen at the Rafah border crossing.
They are then accompanied by the Red Cross and received by the Israeli army in Egypt, after which they are medically examined and can call their family. Adult hostages also await interrogation by Israeli intelligence.
As part of the deal, Israel also releases a group of Palestinians. Today this would involve 39 Palestinian prisoners, 24 women and 15 teenage boys, a Palestinian official reported to the Reuters news agency.
Israel flyer: do not go to North Gaza
A few minutes before the truce came into effect, flyers were thrown from a plane over the Gaza Strip. In it, the Israeli army warns Palestinians not to go to North Gaza.
Some Gazans are using the ceasefire to check on the condition of their homes in the north so they can assess the damage in relative safety. Israel does not allow that; the army regards the northern areas as a war zone.
According to the Palestinian news agency Wafa, seven people were injured when they were shot at by the Israeli army as they tried to go north. Israel has not confirmed those reports.
Reporter Sander van Hoorn in Tel Aviv:
“So far the ceasefire is holding. It is quiet and peaceful above the Gaza Strip. However, there are reports that shots are being fired in the air to stop people from coming from the south to the north of the Gaza Strip.
The aid that is now coming into the Gaza Strip is more than welcome. Aid organizations call it a drop in the ocean, but it is a slightly bigger drop than we have seen in recent times.
The release of hostages and Palestinian prisoners and the admission of humanitarian aid must continue for four days. It remains a ceasefire that is fragile. Things could go wrong at any time.”