(MENAFN) In a significant development, Israel and Hamas have mutually agreed to prolong the existing ceasefire in Gaza, extending it by an additional day. The announcement was made by the Qatari Foreign Ministry, revealing that the extension was finalized just moments before the initial truce was set to conclude at 7 am local time on Thursday.
Diplomats in Doha, acting as intermediaries between the conflicting parties, reported that the terms for extending the ceasefire mirror those of the preceding six days. These conditions encompass the exchange of ten Israeli hostages and 30 Palestinian prisoners, alongside the facilitation of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli military issued a statement acknowledging the ongoing efforts of the mediators and expressing a commitment to the process of releasing hostages, emphasizing that the operational pause would persist within the specified framework. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office affirmed that Israeli authorities possessed a list of women and children slated for release in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
Before the agreement materialized, Hamas asserted that Israel had rejected its proposed list of hostages, which included seven living captives and the remains of three individuals allegedly killed in Israeli airstrikes, according to the Palestinian militant group.
Both sides had signaled readiness to resume hostilities, with Israel initially indicating a rejection of Hamas' proposed list. However, subsequent to what Israel described as a revised list submitted by Hamas, an agreement was reached, overcoming the deadlock.
The ongoing negotiations and the extension of the ceasefire underscore the complexity of the situation, with both parties navigating delicate issues related to prisoners and humanitarian concerns. The developments highlight the delicate balance in the region and the continuous efforts required to maintain a tenuous peace.
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