Ardmore family confirms 84-year-old relative among latest hostages released by Hamas

Ditza Heiman was taken away from her home on October 7 in a small neighborhood just about 1.5 miles from Gaza.

This story originally appeared on 6abc. 

An 84-year-old woman who has ties to a family in Ardmore, Pennsylvania was one of the 12 Israelis hostages released by Hamas on Tuesday as part of an ongoing cease-fire agreement between the warring sides.

Family members tell Action News that 84-year-old Ditza Heiman was among those released.

The IDF said the hostages were taken through Egypt before heading to a meeting point in Kerem Shalom, in Israel.

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Thirty Palestinian prisoners were released in exchange for the hostages, according to Qatari officials.

Corey Shdaimah, of Ardmore, has been waiting to hear good news.

Heiman, who is Shdaimah’s mother-in-law, was taken away from her home on October 7 in a small neighborhood just about 1.5 miles from Gaza.

A neighbor heard Heiman scream for help and saw Hamas militants put her in a vehicle.

“We were happy to hear there was a truce and that there was going to be a release of the hostages. As a family, we also want peace,” Shdaimah told Action News on Monday.

Israel and Hamas have agreed to extend their cease-fire until Wednesday, raising the prospect of further exchanges and a longer halt to their deadliest and most destructive war. Since last Friday, Hamas has released 81 hostages, mostly Israeli nationals, while Israel has freed 180 Palestinian prisoners.

An extended case-fire would also allow more aid into Gaza, which has been battered by weeks of Israeli siege and bombardment and a ground offensive that has driven three out of every four people in Gaza from their homes. The territory is home to 2.3 million people.

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But Israel says it remains committed to crushing Hamas’ military capabilities and ending the group’s 16-year rule over Gaza. That would likely mean expanding a ground offensive from devastated northern Gaza into the south.

Roughly 240 hostages were captured by Hamas in its Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel that ignited the war. More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed since the war began, according to the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza. About 1,200 people have been killed in Israel, mostly during the initial incursion by Hamas.

ABC News and the Assoicated Press contributed to this report.

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