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Business News/ News / World/  Israel-Hamas truce in Gaza extended by two more days, announces Qatar
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Israel-Hamas truce in Gaza extended by two more days, announces Qatar

The announcement came hours before the four-day truce between Israel and Hamas was scheduled to expire.

Palestinians ride bicycles next to the rubble of a house hit in an Israeli strike during the conflict, amid a temporary truce between Hamas and Israel, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip November 27, 2023. (REUTERS/Mohammed Salem) (REUTERS)Premium
Palestinians ride bicycles next to the rubble of a house hit in an Israeli strike during the conflict, amid a temporary truce between Hamas and Israel, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip November 27, 2023. (REUTERS/Mohammed Salem) (REUTERS)

Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas have agreed to extend their truce in Gaza by two more days, announced Qatar, which is the chief mediator between the two warring sides.

“The State of Qatar announces, as part of the ongoing mediation, an agreement has been reached to extend the humanitarian truce for an additional two days in the Gaza Strip," a spokesperson of the Qatar foreign ministry stated.

The development comes on the day when the four-day truce, announced by Israel and Hamas on November 24, was scheduled to expire. 

As part of the truce agreement, Hamas was to release 50 out of the around 240 hostages which are in its custody since October 7, whereas, the Israeli forces were to free 150 Palestinian prisoners.

Also Read: 'A child killed every 10 minutes in Gaza': Israel-Hamas war kills nearly 10,000 Palestinians

So far, 39 Israeli hostages were freed and Israel released 117 Palestinians from its captivity. In addition to the Israeli hostages, Hamas also handed over around a dozen foreign nationals to the Red Cross, the Geneva-based humanitarian group operating in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has said it would extend the cease-fire by one day for every 10 additional hostages released. After the Qatari announcement, Hamas confirmed it had agreed to a two-day extension “under the same terms."

But Israel says it remains committed to crushing Hamas' military capabilities and ending its 16-year rule over Gaza after its October 7 attack into southern Israel. That would likely mean expanding a ground offensive from devastated northern Gaza to the south, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have crammed into United Nations shelters, and where dire conditions persist despite the increased delivery of aid under the truce.

According to the Gaza health ministry, over 14,800 persons, including more than 5,800 children have been killed in Israeli strikes so far.

Also Read: A brief history of Gaza's 75 years of woe

An Israeli government spokesperson, while addressing the media on November 26, said the military will resume its operations with “full force" as soon as the current deal expires if Hamas does not agree to further hostage releases.

Hamas and other militants could still be holding up to 175 hostages, enough to potentially extend the cease-fire for two and a half weeks, analysts said. But those include a number of soldiers, and the militants are likely to make much greater demands for their release, they added.

(With AP inputs)

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Published: 27 Nov 2023, 09:55 PM IST
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