Israel-Hamas war: Mediators seek to prolong ceasefire period


Mediators sought to extend a four-day ceasefire in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas after the final exchange between Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners.

Israel has offered an additional day of pause in fighting for every 10 Israeli hostages released, and Hamas has said it may agree to an extension.

A Palestinian official said another 20 to 40 hostages could be freed. However, the Qatari Ombudsman said Hamas may not have located them or guaranteed their safety.

The Gulf state is also said to be trying to resolve a dispute between Israel and Hamas over who will be among the 11 hostages and 33 prisoners to be released on Monday. The Israeli prime minister’s office said discussions were still taking place”about the next list of people to be released”.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani told the BBC’s US partner CBS News that the agreement would be extended if Hamas “can demonstrate, locate and secure a number of hostages who meet the criteria. ” of the first”.

The group includes women and children. However, he warned that Hamas’s “very complex structure” posed a challenge for Qatari mediators, as the group’s political leaders in Doha had to relay information to and from the military commander in Gaza.

“Typically what we see throughout these negotiations is that information is only provided at the time of any agreement or when it happens. But it never indicated anything before.

” In a separate interview with the Financial Times, Sheikh Mohammed said efforts to extend the ceasefire depended on Hamas identifying more than 40 women and children hostages, believed to have been taken by “civilians and gangs” group arrest. He explained that when the current ceasefire was negotiated, Hamas told mediators that it had protected only 50 of the more than 90 women and children Israel identified as hostages. Four women were freed last month, while Israeli forces operating inside Gaza rescued a female soldier and recovered the bodies of two other female hostages –one soldier and one civilian.

Hamas –considered a terrorist organization by Israel and Britain– has so far released 39 Israeli women and children as part of a deal reached last week. In return, Israel released 117 Palestinian women and girls.

Nineteen foreign nationals, one of whom had Israeli citizenship, were also handed over by Hamas under separate agreements. The pause in fighting also allows for a sharp increase in aid deliveries to Gaza, where the humanitarian crisis is worsening.

On Sunday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the return of the third group of hostages, saying it was “simply soul-stirring.” “In addition, I would say that there is also a model that shows that an additional 10 [hostages] could be released per day.

That is very welcome,” he added. But he emphasized that at the end of the ceasefire, the Israeli army will”try to achieve its goals with all its might: eliminating Hamas, ensuring that Gaza does not return to the way it was and, of course, liberating all our hostages.

” Hamas also said on Sunday that it wanted to extend the pause. A senior Palestinian official familiar with the Doha talks told the BBC that Hamas had informed mediators of its readiness to extend the ceasefire by two to four days as it could secure further releases. 20 to 40 Israeli hostages.

Israel launched a military operation in Gaza and imposed a siege in retaliation for an unprecedented cross-border attack by Hamas gunmen on October7,killing at least 1,200 people and about 240 others. others were taken hostage.

The Hamas-led government in Gaza says more than 14,800 people have been killed in the territory since the war began.


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