Hamas Signals Readiness to Extend Gaza Truce as Extensive Talks Underway

Wed Nov 29 2023
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GAZA CITY: In the latest developments surrounding the Gaza truce, Hamas on Wednesday expressed that the Palestinian resistance group is open to extending the ceasefire by an additional four days. The truce, which has seen Israeli hostages exchanged for Palestinian prisoners, has entered a crucial phase of negotiations involving various mediators and stakeholders.

However, on the other side, Israel has indicated its unwillingness to extend the Gaza truce beyond Sunday. Extensive talks are reportedly underway in Doha for a further extension of the ceasefire, according to a Haaretz report.

According to Hamas, the group has informed mediators of its willingness to extend the truce and is prepared to release Israeli prisoners held by various parties, including Hamas and other resistance movements, within the specified period of the extension.

The issue of releasing both civilian and military figures remains a focal point in the negotiations, with discussions ongoing to achieve a satisfying compromise. Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, told Al Jazeera that while the current focus is on extending the truce, Hamas’s leadership is ready to engage in deep negotiations for a comprehensive deal. This deal would involve the release of all Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the captives held in Gaza.

“We are interested in releasing all the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails…and we want guarantees that they won’t be arrested again,” stated Hamad.

Despite acknowledging the challenging and dynamic nature of the situation, Hamad expressed optimism about the potential extension of the truce. He mentioned the group’s continuous efforts with mediating countries and communication with Qatar and Egypt to manage the peace process, expressing hope that the extension could be implemented soon.

Meanwhile, an Israeli government spokesperson, at a press briefing, provided updates on the “humanitarian pause” brokered after nearly two months of Israeli bombardment of Gaza. The agreement aimed to facilitate the release of Israeli captives in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, with increased humanitarian aid entering the besieged enclave. At least 750 trucks have crossed the Rafah border into Gaza since Friday, averaging about 150 trucks per day.

However, challenges persist, as UNRWA officials previously indicated that 200 trucks of aid per day for two months would be necessary to meet the basic needs of the population.



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