- Latest development status
- Israel received list of hostages to be released by Hamas on Wednesday – Media
- Qatar hosts meeting of Israel’s Mossad and CIA to discuss possible elements of new phase of ceasefire agreement – sources
- New steps could include Hamas releasing hostages who are men or military personnel – sources
GAZA/JERUSALEM, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Hamas and Israel are expected to release more hostages and prisoners on Wednesday, the last day of a six-day long ceasefire in the Gaza Strip conflict, with mediator Qatar again All eyes were on whether negotiations could be held. expansion.
Israeli media reported, citing the prime minister’s office, that Israel received a list of hostages scheduled to be released from Hamas on Wednesday. There was no immediate comment from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Israel said the ceasefire could be extended further if Hamas continues to release at least 10 Israeli hostages per day. But with few women and children still in captivity, keeping the gunfire quiet beyond Wednesday may require negotiations to free at least some Israeli men for the first time.
Palestinian militant group Hamas and its Islamic Jihad ally released 12 hostages on Tuesday, bringing the total number of hostages released since the start of the ceasefire on Friday to 81. The majority are Israeli women and children, but some are foreigners as well.
The hostages included 10 Israeli women and two Thai nationals, ranging in age from 17 to 84, including a mother-daughter pair. All underwent an initial medical examination and were then transferred to a hospital in Israel, where they were to meet their families.
Shortly after, Israel released 30 Palestinians from Ofer prison in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem detention center. The Palestinian Prisoners of War Club, a semi-official organization, said half were women and the rest were male teenagers. This brings the total number of Palestinians released under the ceasefire to 180.
The hostages were among about 240 people captured by Hamas militants who rampaged through southern Israel on October 7, with Israel saying 1,200 people were killed. Israel retaliated by shelling the Hamas-held Gaza Strip, killing more than 15,000 Gazans, health authorities there said.
Qatar, which mediated indirect talks between Hamas and Israel that led to a ceasefire, hosted the spy chiefs of Israel’s Mossad and the US’s CIA on Tuesday.
Officials said possible elements of a new phase of the cease-fire deal, including the release of hostages held by Hamas, including men and military personnel, as well as women and children, according to people briefed on the matter. We discussed. They also considered what it would take to reach a ceasefire that would last more than a few days.
Qatar met with Hamas ahead of the meeting to understand what kind of deal the group might agree to. Israel and Hamas are currently discussing the ideas discussed at the meeting internally, the official added.
Separately, foreign ministers from the G7 countries issued a joint statement on Tuesday calling for an extension of the ceasefire and increased humanitarian assistance.
Approximately 159 hostages remain in Gaza. The White House announced Tuesday that eight to nine Americans were among them. U.S. national security spokesman John Kirby said the United States expects Hamas to release more Americans and for the U.S. government to work with Qatar to extend the ceasefire.
“I want all the hostages out, and the way to do that is through a pause,” Kirby told reporters Tuesday while traveling on the presidential plane.
Warning of rising death toll from disease in Gaza
The ceasefire brings Gaza its first respite after seven weeks of fighting and shelling that reduced much of the seaside enclave to rubble. The measure was set to expire overnight by Tuesday, but both sides agreed to extend the moratorium to allow for the release of more people.
The Israeli siege has left the Gaza Strip’s medical system in collapse, with no hospitals remaining functioning, especially in the north. The World Health Organization said more Gazans could soon die from disease than from bombings, many without access to medicines, vaccines, safe water and sanitation, and without food. .
More than two-thirds of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been left homeless by Israeli bombing, and thousands of families are sleeping rough in makeshift shelters with only the belongings they can carry. They are desperately short of food, fuel, and clean water.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: “We are in a dramatic humanitarian situation. At the same time, we want the full release of all hostages and believe they should be released unconditionally and immediately. We now need a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.” he told reporters on Tuesday.
A temporary ceasefire has allowed about 800 aid trucks to enter Gaza, and the first of three U.S. military planes carrying humanitarian supplies for Gaza landed in Egypt on Tuesday.
UN aid chief Martin Griffiths was scheduled to visit Jordan’s capital Amman on Wednesday to discuss the opening of the Kerem Shalom crossing to allow humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza from Israel.
The Kerem Shalom crossing, located at the crossroads of Israel, the Gaza Strip, and Egypt, transported more than 60% of the aid sent to Gaza before the current conflict.
Aid to Gaza is currently routed through the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border, which is designed for pedestrians rather than trucks.
Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Cairo, Mohammed Salem and Loreen Tafakji in Gaza, Henriette Chakar and Dan Williams in Jerusalem, Ali Sawafta in Ramallah, and Steve Holland from Air Force One and the Reuters bureau. Written by Cynthia Osterman. Edited by Lisa Shoemaker and Lincoln Feast.
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
A senior correspondent with nearly 25 years of experience covering the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including several wars and the signing of the first historic peace agreement between the two countries.