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Israel-Hamas deal: These are the 12 hostages released on Wednesday



Israel-Hamas deal: These are the 12 hostages released on Wednesday

Israel has confirmed the identities of the 10 hostages who were released on Wednesday evening, after 53 days of being held captive by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

An additional two Russian citizens were released by Hamas on Wednesday.

Raya Rotem

Raya Rotem, released from Hamas captivity November 29, 2023 (credit: BRINGTHEMHOMENOW)

Raya Rotem, 54, mother to Hila Rotem, was taken captive by Hamas terrorists during an attack on their community in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7. This attack resulted in the death of an estimated 10% of the residents and the kidnapping of dozens of people.

She was hiding in her safe room with her daughter that morning and sent a message to Raya’s brother at 12:05 p.m., informing him that they were being abducted and taken to Gaza.

This was the last communication anyone had with Raya or Hila. 

It wasn’t confirmed that they were Hamas hostages until October 29 when their family was informed that they were officially captives in Gaza.

Raz Ben Ami

Raz Ben Ami, 55, and Ohad, 57, were abducted from their home by Hamas in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7 during a violent attack. 

Raz Ben Ami, 57 (credit: Bring Them Home Now)

One of their daughters, Ela, survived and communicated with her father until his abduction.

Both Ohad and Raz were later photographed being pulled by terrorists, and Raz, who has a serious illness, requires medication for pain management, making her situation critical.

Yarden Roman, 36, was also among those released.

Liat Beinin Atzili

American-born couple Liat Beinin Atzili and Aviv Atzili, 49, have been missing from Kibbutz Nir Oz since October 7. Aviv left in the early morning as part of the security response team when Hamas terrorists entered the kibbutz, while Liat remained in their safe room, last contacting a friend at 11:30 a.m.

Liat Beinin Atzili, 49 (credit: Bring Them Home Now)

Aviv’s phone was tracked to Gaza, and their house was found burned, though without signs of struggle.

Aviv’s mother, Telma Atzili, 78, hid for 10 hours during the attack and is now in Eilat with her grandchildren.

Liam Or

Liam Or, 18, was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists along with his cousins and uncle from their home in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7. 

Liam Or, 18 (credit: Bring Them Home Now)

Ofir Engel

Ofir Engel, 17, was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists when they attacked his kibbutz on October 7. The Engel family has been missing since then, with the last known communication being with Ofir’s mother and her sister when she told her that there were terrorists in their home. 

Ofir Engel (credit: Hostage and Missing Families Forum)

The family’s phones were traced to Gaza, and while there were no signs of violence in their home and their dog was alive, their fate remains uncertain. 

Amit Shani

Amit Shani, 16, was staying at his mother’s home in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7 when seven Hamas terrorists came into the home and kidnapped him from his room.

According to Amit’s father who spoke to BringThemHomeNow, Amit, his mother, and his two sisters were hiding in the safe room when the terrorists came in, threatened them at gunpoint, grabbed Amit, and pushed him into a vehicle with two other hostages.

Amit Shani, 16 (credit: Bring Them Home Now)

Gali Tarshansky

Gali Tarshansky, 13, was kidnapped from her home in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7. Gali and her older brother Lior were hiding in the saferoom when Hamas terrorists came in, killed Lior, and kidnapped Gali. Her dog Moka was also killed.

Gali Tarshansky, 13 (credit: Bring Them Home Now)

Yarden Roman, 36

Yarden Roman, 36, released on November 29, 20233 (credit: BRINGTHEMHOMENOW)

Yarden Roman was kidnapped from Kibbutz Be’eri the morning after she returned to Israel to celebrate Simchat Torah after a trip abroad with her husband, daughter, and sister. Yarden, husband Alon, and daughter Geffen hid in their family’s safe room until terrorists broke into their home and loaded them into a car. As they approached the Gaza border, the terrorists paused for a moment, and Alon and Yarden escaped. She handed Geffen to her husband, and the two of them made it to safety, while Yarden was recaptured and abducted to Gaza. 

Itay Regev, 18

Itay Regev, 18, released on November 29, 2023 (credit: BRINGTHEMHOMENOW)

Itay Regev, from Herzliya, was kidnapped from the Nova music festival along with his sister Maya, who was released on Saturday. The morning of the attack, Maya called their father, and screamed, “Dad, they’re shooting at me, I’m dead.” Itay was later seen in a Hamas video, handcuffed in the back of a vehicle. 

Moran Stela Yanai, 40

Moran Stela Yanai, 40, released on November 29, 2023 (credit: BRINGTHEMHOMENOW)

Moran Yanai, a jewelry designer, was selling her work at the Nova festival on October 7. She made several frightened calls to her parents the morning of the attack, who then lost contact. A video later surfaced showing terrorists taking Yanai from a ditch where she was hiding. Family have described her to media as a caretaker of her elderly parents and a committed animal-rescue activist.

Yelena Trupanob and Irena Tati

Yelena Trupanob (credit: Hostage and Missing Families Forum)

Yelena Trupanob and Irena Tati, two dual Russian-Israeli citizens, were taken hostage by Hamas from their home in Nir Oz on October 7.  Hamas stated on Wednesday afternoon that they were released as a gesture to Russian President Vladimir Putin in addition to the 10 Israelis released as part of the ceasefire deal on Wednesday.

Trupanob’s son Sasha and Sasha’s partner, Sapir Cohen, are still being held hostage by Hamas. Trupanob’s husband, Vitaly, was murdered on October 7.

Russian-Israeli hostage Irena Tati, 73 (credit: Hostage and Missing Families Forum)

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Iranian FM: Israeli weapons are ‘toys for our children to play with’




Iranian FM: Israeli weapons are ‘toys for our children to play with’

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian joked a day after Israel’s strikes in Iran that the weapons used were “more like toys that our children play with – not drones,” according to a Saturday article from Iran’s semi-official Mehr News Agency. 

Making the comments in an interview with NBC News, Abdollahian said “As long as there is no new adventurism by Israel against our interests, then we are not going to have any new reactions.”

Threats against Israel

“If Israel takes a decisive action against my country and this is proven to us,” he said, “our response will be immediate and to the maximum and will cause them to regret it.”

The foreign minister went on to threaten that his comments were only a warning, and that “We could have hit Haifa and Tel Aviv… We could have also targeted all the economic ports of Israel.” 

The IDF displays an Iranian ballistic missile which they retrieved from the Dead Sea after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, at Julis military base, in southern Israel April 16, 2024. (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

Abdollahian said that the only reason that Iran had not successfully hit Haifa, Tel Aviv or any major port was because Iran’s “red lines [were] civilians…We only had a military purpose.”

A 7-year-old Arab girl was killed during Iran’s mass drone attack which saw hundreds of UAVs and multiple ballistic missiles fired seemingly randomly at Israel. While few Iranian aerial assault weapons successfully hit Israel, one hit a northern Arab village and one hit Arad- which is where the 7-year-old girl was killed. 

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White House urges Congress to quickly send foreign aid bill to Biden’s desk




White House urges Congress to quickly send foreign aid bill to Biden’s desk

Passing the national security supplemental bills would send a powerful message about the strength of American leadership at a pivotal moment, the White House Office of Management and Budget said in a statement released Friday morning as the House continues debates on rules for proceeding with the bills. 

The supplemental funding package provides long overdue funding to support Ukraine as it continues defending itself against Russia’s brutal war of aggression. Ukraine must prevail, the White House said. 

This supplemental funding also helps Israel protect its people against Hamas and Iran and its other proxies, including Hezbollah.

The White House’s statement

“It is critical that we quickly help Israel replenish its air defenses following Iran’s recent brazen and unprecedented attack and ensure Israel maintains its military edge against Iran or any other adversary,” according to the statement. 

A MURAL in Tel Aviv depicts US President Joe Biden as a superhero defending Israel against the Iranian attack. On the strategic level, Israel suffered a whopping loss as Iran pierced American and Israeli deterrence frameworks with apparent impunity, the writer maintains. (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)

The funding would also provide urgent life-saving humanitarian assistance for Palestinian civilians in Gaza and vulnerable people suffering around the world, the statement said, as well as critical support to Indo-Pacific partners. 

“The world is watching what the Congress does,” the White House said. “The Administration urges both chambers of the Congress to quickly send this supplemental funding package to the President’s desk.”

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American money ear-marked for PA security used to pay families of terrorists from Jenin – report




American money ear-marked for PA security used to pay families of terrorists from Jenin – report

The Palestinian Authority’s General Security Service (GIS) has apparently admitted to using American money earmarked for security to pay the family of terrorists from Jenin, according to a Palestinian Media Watch report.

According to the report, on April 4, 2024, PA news agency WAFA published that the GIS in Jenin had given a grant to “the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners from the service’s ranks in the district.”

The GIS gave grants to around 36 families from among the “martyrs and prisoners.”

The vast majority of those identified as “martyrs” or “prisoners” were members of the GIS who had committed acts of terror, according to the PMW.

The grant was given at the direction of PA General Intelligence Chief Majed Faraj, who emphasized a core principle of Mahmoud Abbas: “If we are left with one penny, it will be paid to the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners.”

Taylor Force, 29, was killed by a Palestinian terrorist who went on a stabbing rampage in Jaffa on March 8, 2016 (credit: FACEBOOK)

Taylor Force Act

The US had all but ceased providing funds for the PA after the implementation of the 2017 Taylor Force Act, which blocked all funding for the PA general budget.

The act was named for Taylor Force, an American citizen killed in a terror attack in 2016, where the attacker’s family received money from the PA’s pay-for-slay program.

The exception to this was the funding of the PA’s security sector, which received around $45 million in 2022, according to the State Department’s website.

The PMW says that this money was then used to not only provide funds for terrorists and their families but also to train PA security forces, many of whom end up involved in terrorism, according to PA statements in 2023.

The PMW charge that US funds are now being used to directly fund and train terrorists in the West Bank.

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