Gaza truce extended by two days

28.11.2023 11:10

Gaza truce extended by two days Gaza truce extended by two days
Photo: Yahya HASSOUNA / AFP

The ‘humanitarian pause’ in the Israel-Gaza conflict, due to expire on Monday evening, has been extended by another 48 hours, according to the foreign ministry of Qatar, which mediated the deal.

“The State of Qatar announces, as part of the ongoing mediation, an agreement has been reached to extend the humanitarian pause for an additional two days in the Gaza Strip,” foreign ministry spokesman Majid al-Ansari said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Shortly thereafter, Hamas issued a statement confirming that the truce had been extended, crediting Qatar and Egypt for the mediation.

“I hope we can extend until we reach the end of this war and aggression on our people in Gaza,” Ghazi Hamad, a member of the group’s political bureau, told Al Jazeera.

Israel has not commented on the extension yet. However, a White House official told AJ that West Jerusalem had agreed to it. According to the Qatar-based state-funded outlet, the extension was approved in exchange for the release of 20 more Israelis held hostage by Hamas since October 7.

Qatar also announced it was sending five more cargo planes, carrying some 156 tons of humanitarian aid for Gaza, to the Egyptian city of El-Arish.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas after the surprise attack that claimed the lives of an estimated 1,200 Israelis and resulted in about 240 being taken to Gaza as captives.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bombed Gaza for weeks, before sending ground forces into the enclave. Over 16,000 Palestinians have been killed during the conflict, according to local authorities.

A ‘humanitarian pause’ was arranged last week, amid growing international pressure on Israel. Hamas has since released 39 Israeli hostages, as well as two dozen more captives under a separate arrangement. Israel has released 117 imprisoned Palestinians.

Netanyahu and his government have vowed to resume the war “with full military power” once the truce expires, however.

“We will not stop until we achieve our goals: the destruction of Hamas and bringing home the hostages from Gaza to Israel,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said last week.