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Israeli relatives Avihai Brodutch, Batsheva Yahalomi Cohen, Gilad Korngold: After about fifty days as hostages of Hamas, their relatives have returned to Israel

Photo: Fabrizio Bensch / REUTERS

This Sunday, Gilad Korngold was able to embrace his two grandsons Neve and Yahel again. After about fifty days in captivity, Hamas released the two children, aged three and eight, as well as their mother. They were abducted by the terrorists from Kibbutz Beeri to the Gaza Strip on October 7, and for weeks there was no sign of life. SPIEGEL had reported on Korngold and his family.

The elderly man had traveled to Germany almost two weeks ago. His grandchildren have German passports, which is why he relied on the efforts of the federal government. "I'm a full-time grandfather," he said at the time. That meant days that were timed by interviews with media from all over the world and conversations with politicians. Korngold wanted to prevent the world from forgetting the thirty or so children who were in the hands of Hamas.

At that time, Avihai Brodutch and Batsheva Yahalomi Cohen had come to Berlin with him. The terrorists had also abducted their spouses and children to the Gaza Strip. They, too, demanded their release - and now they too can breathe a sigh of relief. Brodutch's three children and wife were released on Sunday. Yahalomi's son, Eitan, was in the group that was able to leave the Gaza Strip on Monday.

In total, the terrorist organization Hamas has released almost seventy Israeli hostages in recent days, with more apparently to follow. In return, the Israeli government released 150 Palestinian prisoners and temporarily halted the bombing of the Gaza Strip. Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as Egypt, the United States and the German government, had previously struggled to reach an agreement in weeks of negotiations.

More than 150 Israeli hostages are still in the hands of Hamas, including nine children. Korngold and Yahalomi also have to continue to worry: Korngold's adult son Tal is still in the Gaza Strip, as is Yahalomi's husband.