Hamas says it wants to extend truce after latest exchange of captives with Israel

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In the year Updated November 26, 2023 at 3:54 p.m. ET

TEL AVIV, Israel – Hamas says it wants to extend a temporary cease-fire with Israel in Gaza to secure the release of more Palestinian prisoners in exchange for hostages it seized in its Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, In the video A Hamas statement posted after the release said it was open to extending the ceasefire if Hamas released 10 hostages a day. Israel previously said it could extend the deal by up to 10 days.

The Islamic militant group said in a statement posted on its social media platform Telegram that it was seeking to extend the truce after a four-day period that began Friday and ends Monday.

Hamas’s announcement follows the release hours later of a 4-year-old girl whose parents were killed in an October 7 attack on Israel, along with 12 other Israelis, three Thais and a Russian citizen of Israel.

In response, Israel released 39 Palestinians, including one from Gaza, who were handed over at the Egyptian border, while the rest were taken to the Israeli-occupied West Bank’s Ofer prison and detention center in Jerusalem.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar said on the matter. X (formerly known as Twitter) Among the hostages were a South African woman and two Hungarians.

Young daughter Abigail Mor Edan turned 4 in captivity on Friday. She is a dual American-Israeli citizen. The unidentified Israeli-Russian was initially released “in appreciation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts and Russia’s stance in supporting the Palestinian cause,” Hamas said in an earlier statement. The others were released from prison.

President Biden confirmed Abigail’s release but did not provide information on her safety. “What she endured is unimaginable,” Biden told reporters from Nantucket, Mass., where he is spending the Thanksgiving holiday.

In an attack last month, Biden said Abigail’s mother was killed in front of her and she was shot as she ran to protect her father.

“Thank God she’s home,” Biden said. “I can’t imagine the joy, and I just—I wish I was there to catch her.”

Abigail’s great-aunt Liz Hirsch Naftali and cousin Noah Natalie thanked Biden and the Qatari government for helping secure the girl’s freedom.

We hoped and prayed that he would come today. “There are no words to express our relief and gratitude that Abigail has come home safely,” they said in a statement.

In two previous exchanges, Hamas released 26 Israeli and 14 Thai workers, as well as a Filipino. In return, Israel freed 78 Palestinian prisoners, all women and minors.

Tens of thousands of Thai and Filipino workers work in Israel. Dozens of the 1,200 people Israel says were killed in the Oct. 7 attack, while 240 others were taken hostage by Hamas. Gaza’s health ministry says 13,300 Palestinians have been killed in seven weeks of Israeli bombardment on the territory.

While Abigail was released from prison, two women, an American and an Israeli citizen, are still in custody. Biden said on Sunday that he hoped Americans whose whereabouts were still unknown, but had no concrete information on their release.

He said the administration is working with Qatar and other negotiators to facilitate the release of more hostages.

The latest exchange came on the same day that Netanyahu visited Israeli troops in Gaza, his first known trip to the Palestinian territories in more than a decade.

Oren Ziv/AFP via Getty Images


AFP via Getty Images

Relatives of notorious Palestinian prisoner Israa Jaabis visited her home in East Jerusalem early Sunday after prisoners released by Hamas were released from Israeli prisons.

Netanyahu released Video During his visit, the prime minister was seen standing in the middle of empty Palestinian houses where the soldiers were stationed, wearing helmets and body armor. “I visited one of the Hamas tunnels that were discovered during the Israeli military operation,” the office said. In the video, Netanyahu said of Israel’s goal to destroy Hamas: “We are going so far.”

Meanwhile, there are signs of escalating violence in the West Bank, where Israeli forces killed five people in an attack on a refugee camp there. Three others were killed elsewhere in the region, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

On Saturday, a second prisoner exchange came close to resolving what Hamas said was a violation of an Israeli truce that briefly halted the war in Gaza. Israel denies any such violations.

Among the inmates released on Saturday was 9-year-old Emily Hand. Her father, Thomas Hand, was said to have been killed in the attack. Only to be told later Her body was not found among the victims.

“After 50 challenging and complicated days, we cannot find words to express our feelings,” Thomas Hand said in a statement to the report. Forum of hostages and missing families.

Before the temporary truce began, humanitarian aid groups were rushing to aid civilians in a relatively quiet situation on the ground in Gaza, which had been under relentless Israeli bombardment for seven weeks.

Israeli military officials issued a warning to Palestinian civilians in Gaza on Sunday, ordering them to stay south and not travel within half a mile of the border with Israel.

English teacher Tariq al-Anabi at a UN-run school in Rafah, Gaza Strip on Sunday - the third day of a temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.

English teacher Tariq al-Anabi at a UN-run school in Rafah, Gaza Strip on Sunday – the third day of a temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.

On the other hand, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that at least eight Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank in the last 24 hours, according to the Associated Press.

“It’s good that we have an agreement on Gaza, but there is no agreement on the West Bank,” said Basil Abu Nasser, a shopkeeper in the Qalandiya refugee camp near Ramallah. “They’re still raiding our villages, they’re still raiding our refugee camps… They arrest people and attack them.”

Aman Nafa, whose husband was imprisoned by Israelis, told NPR that the violence by Israeli soldiers and settlers has angered many of her Palestinian neighbors.

“We want the whole world to see what they’re doing to us,” Nafa told NPR.

The Israeli army says its soldiers have killed five Palestinians in an exchange of fire in the Jenin refugee camp. caught upA Palestinian suspected of killing an Israeli father and son earlier this year

Israel Defense Forces Major General Doron Spielman said in a statement on social media site X on Saturday that the IDF is trying to limit the threat to Israeli civilians after a deadly attack by Hamas.

“We have been focused on Gaza, but this has been a multi-front war in the last five weeks,” Spielman said. He also pointed to the threat of Hezbollah. An Iranian-backed anti-Israel militia operating in southern Lebanon.

Israeli officials have said they plan to resume an all-out offensive against Hamas in Gaza after a temporary truce expires.

UN officials said in a statement early Sunday that they hoped the ceasefire would be extended. “The longer the delay, the more aid agencies can send to Gaza and beyond.” Declaration of the United Nations he said.

Basil Abu Nasser, a trader in the Qaladia refugee camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, says violence is escalating. "There is no agreement in the West Bank." he said.

/ Tanya Habjouka/NOOR Images for NPR


Tanya Habjouka/NOOR Images for NPR

Basil Abu Nasser, a businessman in the Qalandiya refugee camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, said violence is escalating. “There is no reconciliation in the West Bank.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Saturday that 200 aid trucks had been sent and 187 had entered Gaza by 7:00 a.m. local time. He explained that most of the aid went to the southern areas.

OCHA says 1.7 million people in Gaza, or nearly 80% of its 2.2 million people, are internally displaced and nearly 900,000 are sheltering in 100 facilities in the south.

NPR’s Brian Mann reports from Ramallah in the West Bank. NPR’s Scott Neumann and Daniel Estrin report from Tel Aviv. NPR’s Dana Farrington contributed from Washington, DC.

Copyright 2023 NPR. Visit https://www.npr.org to see more.

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