(CTN News) – The extension of the truce between Israel and Hamas has been confirmed for a seventh day, with both sides announcing the decision just minutes before the agreement’s expiration.
Israel’s military stated that the temporary halt in fighting in the Gaza Strip would continue, citing ongoing mediator efforts to release hostages and adherence to the agreement’s terms.
Hamas, in a separate statement, affirmed the extension of the temporary ceasefire, originally initiated on Friday, for at least another 24 hours.
Qatar, serving as a mediator, reported that the extension followed the same terms as before, involving the release of 10 Israeli hostages daily by Hamas in exchange for 30 Palestinian prisoners.
As the deadline approached, uncertainties arose when the two sides struggled to agree on a new list of Israeli captives to be released from Gaza.
Initially, Hamas claimed that Israel rejected a proposed list, which included seven living captives and the remains of three individuals allegedly killed in previous Israeli airstrikes. Israel later stated that Hamas submitted an improved list, facilitating the extension.
Escalating Negotiations and Israel-Hamas’s Strategic Moves
In the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, a pivotal shift has emerged in the negotiations, particularly with the release of most women and children held by Hamas.
Analysts are now contemplating heightened tensions as Hamas strategically maneuvers for more significant concessions.
There are speculations that the group may leverage its position to demand a permanent ceasefire and the release of all Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Israeli soldiers.
Mohamed Elmasry, an analyst from the Doha Institute of Graduate Studies, points out a critical factor: the diminishing pool of civilian hostages available to Hamas.
With challenges in producing more civilian hostages due to their limited number, the dynamics of the negotiations become increasingly complex.
The extension of the truce, announced to the relief of Gaza residents, allows for a pause in fighting, facilitating the entry of essential humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.
This aid encompasses crucial supplies such as water, food, medicine, and fuel, providing a lifeline to the beleaguered population.
On the international front, pressure for a lasting ceasefire has intensified after nearly eight weeks of Israeli bombardment and a ground campaign in Gaza.
The conflict has resulted in significant casualties and a dire humanitarian crisis, prompting calls for a comprehensive and sustainable resolution.
While Israel has welcomed the release of hostages, the possibility of resuming attacks on Gaza remains, reflecting the nation’s determination to confront Hamas.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a clear and resolute statement, emphasized Israel’s commitment to return to fighting once the phase of abductee returns concludes, underscoring the persistence in pursuing their objectives until the end.