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Israel and Hamas extending truce another 2 days

The cease-fire has brought batches of hostages held in Gaza back home to Israel in exchange for release of Palestinian prisoners.
Israel and Hamas open to extending truce on 4th day of hostage swap
Posted at 8:44 AM, Nov 27, 2023

Israel and Hamas agreed Monday to extend their truce another two days.

An original agreement for a four-day cease-fire between the two parties saw batches of hostages held in Gaza since Oct. 7 released back home to Israel, and Palestinian prisoners also set free.

The truce also allowed truckloads of shipments of desperately needed aid to enter Gaza.

Qatar was helping mediate extension talks Monday, and a spokesperson for Qatar's Foreign Ministry announced the news that an agreement was reached. Hamas followed with its own announcement, saying it would extend the truce another two days under the same conditions.

The deal seemingly paves the way for more hostage and prisoner releases, and more aid for Gaza.

The framework is said to be the same: three Palestinian prisoners for every one Israeli hostage. There are still around 184 hostages held captive inside the Gaza Strip.

Originally, Hamas and Israel had agreed on a temporary pause in fighting to free a total of 50 Israeli captives in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners.

Eleven hostages held by Hamas were released on Monday at around 3 p.m. EST into the care of the Red Cross before they will be transported to Israel, according to Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari on X. Two Americans were supposed to be on the list of freed hostages Monday, but a White House official confirmed that no Americans were among those released.

Majed Al Ansari, a spokesperson for Qatar's foreign ministry, said on X the hostages released on Monday include six Argentinian citizens, three French citizens and two German citizens.

Each day since the truce began Friday, hostages have been transferred to the International Red Cross and brought into Israel. The hostages get transferred to hospitals, where they undergo medical evaluation and reunite with their families.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu previously spoke out in hopes of a truce extension, saying that securing the release of more hostages was a top priority.

"Critically needed aid is going in, and hostages are coming out — and this still is structured so that it can be extended, to keep building on these results," said President Biden. "That's my goal. That's our goal — keep this pause going beyond tomorrow, so that we can continue to see more hostages come out, and surge more humanitarian relief into those in need in Gaza."

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said it delivered 100 trucks of supplies to northern Gaza just on Sunday, which included food, water, baby formula, blankets and fuel. Aid groups and the United Nations say much more is still needed to meet the needs of the more than 2 million Palestinians inside the territory.

SEE MORE: Family member of 3 released Hamas hostages speaks out 

Netanyahu had said he welcomed a truce extension to get more hostages home. He paid a visit to Israeli troops on Sunday, vowing that Israel would fight on "until victory."

Netanyahu outlined Israel's three main goals: eliminating Hamas, freeing all the hostages and ensuring Gaza will not go back to being a threat.

Israel had previously said it would extend the truce one day for every 10 hostages released by Hamas.

According to Palestinian sources, there were six Palestinian prisoners not included on the list presented to Hamas of those set to be freed on Monday. Hamas had been urging Israel to implement a seniority principle, which would release prisoners who have been in jail for the longest.

The cease-fire was originally set to expire on Tuesday at 7 a.m. local time.

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