As the initial four-day Gaza truce sees Israeli hostages exchanged for Palestinian prisoners and humanitarian aid entering the Strip, a source close to Hamas reveals the group’s willingness to extend the truce by an additional four days.
The existing truce, already extended for two days, has been marked by the release of 50 Israeli hostages by Hamas, including 30 children and 20 Israeli women.
According to the source, Hamas has informed mediators of its readiness to extend the truce, during which the movement pledges to release additional Israeli prisoners held by various parties.
The terms of the truce require Gaza-based terror groups to free Israeli children and women, excluding active Israel Defense Forces soldiers. Presently, nine children, with the youngest aged just 10 months old, remain in captivity in Gaza.
The recent hostage releases occurred between Friday and Monday, with Hamas releasing 50 Israeli hostages abducted during its October 7 onslaught.
The releases included 30 children, 20 Israeli women (with 10 being mothers of freed children), an Israeli-Russian man in a gesture to Moscow, and 18 foreigners (17 Thais and a Filipino) as part of a separate Iran-brokered deal.
In return for these releases, Israel has freed 150 female and underage Palestinians serving time in Israeli prisons for security offenses.
The original truce agreement allows for extensions up to a total of 10 days, including the initial four, provided Hamas continues to release at least 10 additional hostages each day, with Israel reciprocating by freeing more Palestinian security inmates.
As the truce unfolds, the delicate negotiations highlight the complex dynamics of hostage exchanges and ceasefire agreements in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The extension signals a potential for continued progress in securing the release of hostages and maintaining a fragile peace in the region. The next steps will likely hinge on the reciprocal actions of both parties and the ongoing efforts of mediators to navigate the intricacies of the agreement.
This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members