Hamas has released 13 Israeli prisoners as part of a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas that has been in effect since May 2021. 11 other Israelis were also released, though it is unclear whether they were part of the same agreement or part of a separate agreement.
The two sides had previously agreed to a prisoner exchange in exchange for the release of two Israeli civilians and the remains of two fallen Israeli soldiers. As part of the agreement, Hamas released four Israelis, including one woman, who had been held for years in Gaza.
The prisoner swap drew heavy criticism from human rights advocates, who noted that the prisoners were not charged with any crime and had not been granted a fair trial by Israel. In addition, the exchange raised questions about the possibility of future prisoner swaps involving other Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
Negotiations between Israel and Hamas regarding a more comprehensive agreement are ongoing, and the release of the 13 Israeli prisoners may be a sign of progressing talks.