First hostages released in agreed four-day fighting pause.

Hamas has released 24 hostages during the first day of the temporary truce, including Israeli women and children and Thai farm workers, after guns fell silent across the Gaza Strip for the first time in seven weeks.

The hostages were transferred out of Gaza and handed over to Egyptian authorities at the Rafah border crossing, accompanied by eight staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross in a four-car convoy.

Qatar, which acted as mediator for the temporary truce deal, said 13 Israelis had been released, some with dual citizenship, plus 10 Thais and a Filipino.

Thirty-nine Palestinian women and teenaged detainees were also released from Israeli jails.

"We have just completed the return of the first batch of our hostages. Children, their mothers and other women. Each and every one of them is a world in itself," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

"But I stress to you, the families, and to you, citizens of Israel: we are committed to returning all our hostages."

The names of the Israeli hostages were released after they were freed. They included four children accompanied by four family members as well as five other elderly women.

Corinne Moshe, daughter-in-law of 72-year-old Adina Moshe, said her husband and his siblings were waiting at a hospital to be reunited with their mother.

"I miss her very, very much, I want her to be back already. I want to have dinner with her and the entire family again," she said. "Grandmother is a strong woman. She raised almost all the children of Kibbutz Nir Oz."


The Israeli military said the released hostages underwent an initial medical assessment inside Israeli territory before being taken to Israeli hospitals to be reunited with their families.

Under the terms of the four-day Israel-Hamas truce, 50 women and children hostages are to be released over four days, in return for 150 Palestinian women and teenagers among thousands of detainees in Israeli jails.

Israel says the truce could be extended if more hostages are released at a rate of 10 per day.

Earlier on Friday, combat between Israeli troops and Hamas fighters halted for the first time in seven weeks.

Israel and Hamas said the conflict would resume as soon as the truce was over.

In Khan Younis town in southern Gaza, streets filled with people venturing out of home and shelters into a landscape of buildings flattened into heaps of rubble.

Displaced families with small children carried belongings in plastic bags, hoping to return at least temporarily to homes they had abandoned earlier.

"I am now very happy, I feel at ease. I am going back to my home, our hearts are rested," said Gaza resident Ahmad Wael, smiling as he walked carrying a mattress balanced on his head.

"I am very tired of sitting without any food or water. There (at home) we can live, we drink tea, make bread."

With AAP.

Feature Image: Getty.