Israeli Security Forces
Israeli security forces stand next to buses waiting at the helipad of Tel Aviv's Schneider medical centre ahead of the release of Israeli hostages. AFP

Hamas said a group of hostages seized in the deadliest attack in Israel's history were handed over on Friday as a temporary truce took hold in Gaza following weeks of fighting.

"Half an hour ago, the prisoners were handed to the Red Cross who will take them to the Egyptians" at the Rafah crossing, a source close to Hamas told AFP.

A source in the military wing of Hamas confirmed the handover, adding: "This is the first group under the agreement."

Israeli media reported that the hostages are currently in Red Cross custody in Egypt and are expected to be taken to Israel in the next few hours.

Israel is set to release three times as many Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails -- women and teenage boys.

A dozen Thai hostages kidnapped during Hamas's October 7 raids into Israel were also released on Friday, Thailand's Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced.

Pictures released by the Israeli army showed bright pink and blue headphones sitting on the seats of a helicopter ready for the released hostages to use, along with toys and teddy bears waiting at a reception centre where they were being taken to.

During a four-day truce, at least 50 hostages are expected to be freed, leaving an estimated 190 in the hands of Palestinian militants.

In exchange, 150 Palestinians prisoners are expected to be released.

Hamas broke through Gaza's militarized border with Israel on October 7 to kill, according to Israeli officials, about 1,200 people and seize around 240 Israeli and foreign hostages.

-With information from Jerusalem Post