24 Oct 2023

Israel-Palestine war: Emergency special session of UNGA on Oct 26; Hamas releases 2 more hostages

On Tuesday, United Nations General Assembly President Dennis Francis announced his decision to convene an emergency special session of the UNGA on October 26 in view of ongoing Israel-Palestine war. This decision came in response to a request from the permanent representative of Jordan and other nations to promptly resume the tenth emergency special session.

In a press statement issued by the UNGA president, said he had received a letter dated 19 October 2023 from Mahmoud Hmoud, Permanent Representative of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and Sidi Mohamed Laghdaf, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, in their capacities as Chair of the Arab Group and Chair of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation, respectively. They have requested the swift resumption of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly.

UNGA President Dennis Francis said he had received similar requests from the Permanent Representatives of the Republic of Nicaragua, the Russian Federation, and the Charge d'affaires of the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as a letter from the Permanent Representatives of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of Maldives, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, and the Charge d'affaires of Brunei Darussalam.

President Dennis Francis also confirmed that the 39th plenary meeting of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly will be held on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. in the General Assembly Hall at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Regarding the upcoming meeting, the UNGA president expressed, "In response to the collective request of member states for the resumption of the tenth emergency special session of the UN General Assembly, I will be convening the UNGA emergency special session on Thursday, October 26, 2023."

Hamas releases two more hostages

Amid the ongoing Israel-Palestine war, Hamas on Tuesday released two more hostages. They were identified as Nurit Cooper and Yocheved Lifshitz.

A military helicopter ferrying the two freed hostages landed on the roof of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.

A nurse at the Ichilov Hospital said that Cooper and Lifshitz appeared to be in good health after arriving at the Israeli Medical Centre, directly upon their release from Hamas captivity in Gaza.

The two elderly hostages had an emotional reunion with their families, the nurse said.

Both the freed hostages were on medication that they may not have received during their two weeks of captivity.

The nurse said the hospital authorities will come to a better understanding of their condition in the morning.

Earlier, Hamas's Qassam Brigades published a video showing the two hostages being handed over to members of the International Red Cross.

In the video, the two women, wearing identical purple robes, walk unsteadily holding the hands of masked gunmen, who also offer them snacks and drinks. Both appear terrified through much of the footage.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan posted on X that Washington welcomes the release of these hostages and is continuing to work for the release of the remaining hostages, believed to be numbering over 200.

Earlier, two American hostages, identified as Judith Tai Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter Natali Raanan, were released by Hamas,

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