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21-year-old French-Israeli one of two women released by Hamas after 55 days captivity

21-year-old French-Israeli one of two women released by Hamas after 55 days captivity

A 21-year-old woman who appeared in a Hamas hostage video has been freed by the terror group after 55 days captive in Gaza.

Mia Schem, who has French-Israeli citizenship, was captured at the Nova festival in the Israeli desert with her friend, Elia Toledano, who was also kidnapped and is still being held captive by Hamas.

The trainee tattooist appeared in a video released by Hamas shortly after the October 7 attacks where she seemed to be injured and was begging to be released.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his "great joy" about her release.

He said in a statement on X: "I share this great joy with her family and all French people."

Ms Schem and 40-year-old lawyer Amit Soussana were handed to the Red Cross in Gaza City, on Thursday.

Mia Schem who was relased after being held captive by Hamas for 55 days (AP)
Mia Schem who was relased after being held captive by Hamas for 55 days (AP)

The warring sides agreed to extend their ceasefire for a seventh day, while mediators pressed on with talks to extend the truce further to free more hostages and let aid reach Gaza.

The truce has halted bombing and allowed some humanitarian aid into Gaza after much of the coastal territory of 2.3 million people was reduced to wasteland in an Israeli campaign in retaliation for a deadly rampage by Hamas militants on Oct. 7.

The armed wing of Hamas claimed responsibility for a deadly shooting in Jerusalem, which Israel called further proof of the need to destroy the militants, although there were no signs of this scuppering the Gaza truce or release of hostages.

Earlier, Israel, which has demanded Hamas release at least 10 hostages per day to hold the ceasefire, said it received a list at the last minute of those who would go free on Thursday, allowing it to call off plans to resume fighting at dawn.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in Israel during his third visit to the Middle East since the war began, said the truce was "producing results. It's important, and we hope it can continue".

"We have seen over the last week the very positive development of hostages coming home, being reunited with their families. And that should continue today," he said. "It's also enabled an increase in humanitarian assistance to go to innocent civilians in Gaza who need it desperately."

Egypt's state media body said Egyptian and Qatari mediators were working to negotiate a further extension of the truce for two days.

With fewer Israeli women and children left in captivity, extending the truce could require setting new terms for the release of Israeli men, including soldiers.