These individuals, along with four Thai nationals, were released by Hamas late on Saturday. The group, devoid of any American citizens, made their way to the Rafah Border Crossing with assistance from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The group was diverse, comprising women, teenagers, and children. Among them were Noam Or, aged 17, and Alma Or, aged 13, as well as 53-year-old Shiri Weiss and 18-year-old Noga Weiss. Sharon Hertzman Avigdori, 52, and 12-year-old Noam Avigdori were also part of the group. Other released hostages included Shoshan Haran, 67, Adi Shoham, 38, and 8-year-old Nave Shoham, along with 3-year-old Yahel Shoham.
The remaining Israeli hostages were Hila Rotem Shoshani, 13, Emily Toni Kornberg Hand, 9, and 21-year-old Maya Regev Jarbi. Many of the hostages hailed from Kibbutz Be'eri, a community that suffered a brutal Hamas massacre on October 7.
The Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum and Kibbutz Be'eri issued a joint statement regarding the return of the hostages. "Kibbutz Bee’ri and Families Forum are happy to share the news about the return of some of the abductees," the statement read. It further revealed the tragic separation of a mother from her children, "Hamas grossly violated the agreement and separated a mother from her family. Hila returns home without her mother, a mother who was left behind in the captivity of Hamas."
Amir Solvi, Chairperson of Kibbutz Be’eri, described Saturday as "a bittersweet day, one of great joy but also marked with sadness." He continued to urge the government to achieve its two war objectives: "returning all the abductees home - down to the last one, and neutralizing the threat of Hamas, the terrorist entity."