20231122 ceasefire
Families and friends of about 240 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza call for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to bring them home during a demonstration in Tel Aviv, Israel . Image Credit: AP

Doha: A total of 13 Israeli hostages are to be freed "tonight" for 39 Palestinian prisoners, in a delayed second exchange agreed as part of a temporary truce in Gaza, mediator Qatar said Saturday.

Seven foreigners held in Gaza will also be released, it added.

"After a delay, obstacles to release of prisoners were overcome through Qatari-Egyptian contacts with both sides, and 39 Palestinian civilians will be released tonight, while 13 Israeli hostages will leave Gaza in addition to 7 foreigners," foreign ministry spokesman Majed Al Ansari wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Earlier, Hamas said it was delaying the release of a second group of Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners until Israel complies with a truce agreement.

In the first day of a four-day humanitarian truce in Gaza, 13 Israeli hostages were freed by Hamas Friday in exchange for 39 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Hamas also freed 10 Thais and one Filipino.

A total of 50 Israeli hostages are to be freed by Hamas in staggered releases over the four-day truce in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners.