Agreement Close On Two-Day Extension To Israel-Hamas Truce, Says Egypt

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Palestinians in Gaza say they have been praying for an extension of the truce (File)

Cairo, Egypt:

A senior Egyptian official said on Monday that Egypt and Qatar had agreed to a two-day extension of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas forces in Gaza, a seven-week standstill in the war that has killed thousands and devastated Palestinians. summarize.

The head of Egypt’s State Intelligence Service, Diya Rashwan, said the Israeli extension included the release of 20 Israeli hostages held by Hamas following an October 7 attack on southern Israel. He also said that 60 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons will be released.

The truce ends Monday night.

On Monday, 11 Israeli hostages were expected to be freed, Rashwan added, adding that negotiations were continuing for the release of 33 Palestinians.

Earlier, it was said that Hamas wanted a four-day extension, while Israel wanted one-day extensions.

An Israeli official reiterated Israel’s position to agree to an additional truce date to free each of the 10 hostages. Instead, three times the number of Palestinian prisoners will be released each time. The limit will be five days, the official added.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the extension could be extended, allowing the international community to find a political solution to the conflict.

The deal agreed last week is the first ceasefire in seven weeks of fighting since Hamas launched an attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostages in Gaza.

In response to that attack, Israel bombed the area and attacked the northern land. About 14,800 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza health officials, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

Large areas of Hamas-ruled territory have been decimated by Israeli airstrikes and artillery bombardments, with supplies of food, fuel, drinking water and medicine running out and a humanitarian crisis unfolding.

On Sunday, Hamas released 17 people, including a 4-year-old Israeli-American girl, bringing the total number of foreigners released by the militant group since Friday to 58. Israel released 39 teenage Palestinian prisoners on Sunday, bringing the total number of Palestinians freed in the war to 117.

Under the current deal, Hamas is set to release 50 Israeli women and children held hostage in Gaza. There is no limit on the number of foreigners who can leave in the agreement.

An Israeli government spokesman said the total number of hostages held in Gaza on Monday was 184, including 14 foreigners and 80 Israelis.

Israel and Hamas raised concerns over Monday’s details and Qatari mediators are working with them to resolve the issues and avoid delays, an official briefed on the matter told Reuters.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced on Monday that it was reviewing the list of Palestinian prisoners received from Hamas and would provide more information if possible.

Netanyahu said over the weekend that after the truce ended, “we will return with full force to achieve our goals: to eliminate Hamas, to ensure that Gaza does not return to where it was, and of course to release all of our hostages.”

A short break

Palestinians in Gaza said on Monday they were praying for an extension of the truce. Some have been reduced to rubble by weeks of Israeli bombardment, while others line up to receive flour and other essential aid delivered by the United Nations aid agency UNRWA.

UNRWA was awaiting Israeli approval on Monday to send aid trucks and ambulances to northern Gaza.

“So many people have lost their lives, so many people have lost their homes, so we welcome this ceasefire,” UNRWA affairs director Thomas White said.

Palestinians gave a warm welcome to freed prisoners in Ramallah, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

Omar Abdullah al-Haj, 17, who was released on Sunday, told Reuters he was kept in the dark about what was happening in the outside world.

“We were crammed into a room with 11 people, usually six people. There wasn’t enough food and I wasn’t told how long I had to stay,” he said.

“I can’t believe I’m free now, but my joy is not complete because we still have our brothers in prison,” Al Hajj said.

Israel’s Justice Ministry accused him of posing a security threat as a member of the Islamic Jihad militant group, which he did not say.


The EU’s Borrell told a conference on the Gaza crisis in Barcelona that the Palestinian Authority (PA) – which governs the occupied West Bank – must regain control of Gaza from Hamas because it has offered a “better” option.

The European Union, the United States, Britain and others classify Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Borel urged Israel not to “take control of Gaza again”, stating that the best guarantee for Israel’s peace and security is the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told the same conference that the actions in Gaza are within the legal definition of genocide and called for an end to the killing and displacement of people in Gaza.

He said that Israel is working to destroy the enemy it is working to defend itself.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is from a syndicated feed.)

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