Mediator Qatar said on Monday a deal had been reached to extend a truce between Israeli and Hamas forces in Gaza by two days, continuing a pause in seven weeks of warfare in the Palestinian enclave.
“An agreement has been reached to extend the humanitarian truce for an additional two days in the Gaza Strip,” a Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson said in a post on social media platform X.
Hamas also said it had agreed to a two-day extension to the truce with Qatar and Egypt, who have been facilitating indirect negotiations between the two sides.
“An agreement has been reached with the brothers in Qatar and Egypt to extend the temporary humanitarian truce by two more days, with the same conditions as in the previous truce,” a Hamas official said in a phone call with Reuters.
There was no immediate comment from Israel, but a White House official confirmed an agreement had been reached.
Before the statements, the head of Egypt’s State Information Service, Diaa Rashwan, had said an extension agreement was close and would include the release of 20 Israeli hostages from among those seized by Hamas during its Oct. 7 assault on southern Israel. In exchange 60 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails would be freed, he said.
The initial truce was due to end on Monday night.
With the release of 11 Israeli hostages expected on Monday, negotiations remain ongoing for the release of 33 Palestinians, Rashwan added.
The truce agreed last week was the first halt in fighting in the seven weeks since Hamas attacked Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking about 240 hostages back into Gaza, according to Israeli tallies.
In response to that attack, Israel launched a military campaign of air strikes and ground operations against terrorist targets in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
On Sunday, Hamas freed 17 people, including a four-year-old Israeli-American girl, bringing the total number the terrorist group has released since Friday to 58, including foreigners. Israel freed 39 teenage Palestinian prisoners on Sunday, taking the total number of Palestinians freed under the truce to 117.
Under the terms of the current deal, Hamas is due to release in total 50 Israeli women and children held hostage in Gaza. There is no limit in the deal on the number of foreigners it can release.
An Israeli government spokesperson said the total number of hostages still held in Gaza on Monday was 184, including 14 foreigners and 80 Israelis with dual nationality.
The post Deal Reached to Extend Israel-Hamas Truce in Gaza by Two Days first appeared on Algemeiner.com.
‘The mobs will not silence my voice’ says Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman after her Thornhill office is plastered with anti-Israel posters
Posters slamming Israel and decrying Canada’s suspension of funding to UNRWA were found at the Thornhill, Ont., offices of Melissa Lantsman, a pro-Israel and Jewish Conservative MP who serves as deputy leader of the Official Opposition. “Blood on Your Hands,” “Stop Arming Israel” and “Fund UNRWA Now” were among the messages found taped to […]
IDF Chief Weighs in on Ultra-Orthodox Military Service, Week After New Draft Bill Proposed
IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi called on the ultra-Orthodox public to mobilize for the current and future wars, a position at odds with their historic role in the state, in which they enjoy near blanket exemptions from military service.
“In these challenging days, there is one thing that is very clear: Everyone should mobilize for the defense of the homeland,” Halevi said.
He added: “This is a different era, and what was before it will certainly be re-examined. The IDF has always sought to bring into its ranks from all sections of Israeli society. This war illustrates the need to change. Join the service, protect the homeland. We have a historic opportunity to expand the sources of recruitment for the IDF at a time when the necessity is very high. We will know how to create the right solutions and conditions for any population that will join this noble mission.”
The issue of ultra-Orthodox enlistment in the IDF has been a hot button issue since the state’s establishment in 1948 and, in more recent years, the cause of wide scale backlash against the community. As part of an agreement when the state was founded, the ultra-Orthodox public was exempted completely from service. However, as the years progressed and the population grew exponentially, critics of the policy decried the unfairness of it.
A bill last week was introduced by the ruling Likud Party that called for an increase in military service time, particularly for reserve forces, yet failed to discuss the ultra-Orthodox issue. Backlash from both opposition and coalition members was swift.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich at the time said, “The ultra-Orthodox public is dear and loved and contributes a lot to the State of Israel, and it is now essential that it also take a more significant part in the tasks of defense and security. This move should happen out of dialogue and discussion and not by coercion or, God forbid, by defamation. Religious Zionism proves that it is possible to combine Torah study and observance of minor and severe mitzvot together with military service at the front. My ultra-Orthodox brothers, we need you!”
Halevi’s comments were his first on the highly contentious issue.
The post IDF Chief Weighs in on Ultra-Orthodox Military Service, Week After New Draft Bill Proposed first appeared on Algemeiner.com.
Israeli victims of the Oct. 7 attacks present their case to the International Criminal Court, hoping for arrest warrants against Hamas
A legal brief documenting the kidnapping, rape, torture and executions of Israelis who are being held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza has been filed at the International Criminal Court by the Canadian-based Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. The 1,000-page dossier documents the brutality of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, which killed […]