Israel, Hamas Complete Second Hostage-Prisoner Exchange

    Photo: Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Israeli authorities confirmed on Sunday morning that a second hostage-prisoner exchange had taken place the previous night after an hours-long delay raised concerns over the four-day truce's execution.

    • A group of 17 hostages — 13 Israelis and four Thai nationals — was handed over to the Red Cross before they crossed into Israel through Egypt's Rafah border crossing.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The drama around the second hostage-prisoner swap has exposed the fragile nature of this short-term temporary ceasefire agreement, as neither Hamas nor Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can afford to extend a pause in hostilities. The pro-Palestinian militant group ruling the Gaza Strip would lose leverage over Israel if all hostages were freed, and Israel's ultimate goal is to eliminate Hamas from the region.

    Narrative B

    It was anticipated that the ceasefire would not progress smoothly, especially due to the degree of animosity and lack of trust between Israel and Hamas. However, this second successful exchange boosts optimism for extending the deal beyond four days. While Hamas would like the temporary truce to become permanent, to recover from Israel's seven-week-long assault, Israel want to bring its citizens home before the war is resumed.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 53% chance that the November 2023 Israel-Hamas humanitarian pause will be extended, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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