Israel-Hamas war, Gaza truce, hostages and prisoners released


Palestinians walk through destruction in Gaza City on November 24, as the temporary truce between Israel and Hamas took effect.
Palestinians walk through destruction in Gaza City on November 24, as the temporary truce between Israel and Hamas took effect. Mohammed Hajjar/AP

As the truce between Hamas and Israel enters its fourth and final day Monday, both parties have discussed the possibility of extending it, a move which has the support of key nations, including the US and Qatar.

In a statement released Sunday evening, Hamas said it wants “to extend the truce after the four-day period ends, through serious efforts to increase the number of those released from imprisonment as stipulated in the humanitarian ceasefire agreement.”

The agreed upon truce already includes a provision for an extension of one extra day for every ten hostages Hamas is ready to free.

While Israel’s war cabinet discussed the possibility of an extension on Sunday evening, a source told CNN, those conditions for one, as outlined in the initial truce, remain unchanged.

Earlier this weekend, Qatar, which played a central role in mediating the original agreement, said it too was hoping to extend the truce.

“What we are hoping for is that the momentum that has carried from the releases … and from this agreement of four days will allow us to extend the truce beyond these four days, and therefore get into more serious discussions about the rest of the hostages,” Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Majed Al-Ansari, told CNN on Saturday.

In a news conference Sunday, US President Joe Biden also expressed wanting to extend the pause in fighting to try to ensure the safe release of more hostages and to get critical aid to civilians in the enclave.

If you’re just joining us, here are other key headlines:

First American freed: Among the 17 hostages released Sunday was 4-year-old American-Israeli Abigail Edan whose release marks the first time an American hostage has been successfully freed since the start of the truce. Biden praised Edan’s release in an address and spoke with her family Sunday afternoon, according to the White House. Officials released a full list of the freed hostages’ names and ages. They include two mothers with their children and a pair of siblings.

Palestinian prisoners released: Thirty-nine prisoners and detainees from a total of seven Israeli prisons were released Sunday as part of the reciprocal deal, the Israel Prison Service confirmed. The group is made up of boys aged 18 and younger; two are 15, and one — the youngest released — is 14. Twenty-three of those released had been held under administrative detention, a widely criticized practice in which a detainee is unaware of any charges against them, and their case is not subject to any legal process.

Aid enters Gaza: At least 120 aid trucks entered Gaza through the Rafah border on Sunday, the Egyptian government confirmed. The delivery of aid to Gaza has been a key factor in sustaining the truce and exchanges between Israel and Hamas.

Hostages leave hospital: Some Israelis from the first wave of released hostages — members of two families — have been discharged from the Schneider Children’s Medical Hospital in Israel. They are the first former hostages to be discharged.

Palestinians killed in West Bank: Eight Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire in the occupied West Bank over the course of 24 hours, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement Sunday. CNN has asked the Israel Defense Forces for comment about the killings.

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