Three Palestinian prisoners are being freed for every one hostage taken from Israel by Hamas.
More hostages held in Gaza were released on Tuesday in exchange for 30 Palestinian prisoners after the truce between Hamas and the Israeli army was extended for 48 hours.
Several Israeli hostages were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Rafah, near the Egyptian border, according to AFP.
The twelve freed hostages, ten Israelis and two Thais according to Israel and Qatar, will be “taken to Israeli hospitals where they will be reunited with their families”, said the Israeli army, which confirmed their arrival in Israel via Egypt.
In exchange, 30 Palestinian prisoners, all women and young people under the age of 19, were released, the Israeli prison authority announced.
Coming into force on Friday, the truce between Israel and Hamas has been extended until Thursday morning.
In total, 20 Israeli hostages and 60 Palestinian prisoners are set to be released during the extension, detailed Qatar, which has led mediation between the two sides.
Every day since 24 November, Hamas has freed around ten women and children kidnapped during its bloody attack on 7 October against southern Israel.
The Israelis have released three times as many Palestinian prisoners – most boys and teenagers accused of stone-throwing or public disorder.
Mediated also by Egypt and the United States, the agreement has already enabled the release of 60 Israeli hostages and 180 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel.
Twenty-one foreign hostages, mostly Thais living in Israel, were released outside the framework of this agreement.
Israeli authorities estimate that around 240 people were kidnapped and taken to Gaza on October 7, during the unprecedented attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement.
In what was the deadliest attack in Israel’s history, the violence claimed 1,200 lives in Israel, the vast majority civilians.
In retaliation, Israel promised to “annihilate” Hamas and began relentlessly bombing Gaza, launching a ground offensive on October 27.
According to the Palestinian authorities, 14,854 people, including 6,150 under the age of 18, have been killed in Israeli strikes.