Israel and Hamas have mutually agreed to prolong the ceasefire for an additional week.

The temporary pause in fighting will continue for another 24 hours.

Israel and Hamas have agreed to extend the truce for a seventh day, with both sides confirming the decision just moments before the initial agreement was set to expire. The Israeli military announced on Thursday that the temporary cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip will persist, citing ongoing mediation efforts to advance the release of hostages and adherence to the terms of the agreement.

In a separate announcement, both Israel and Hamas declared the extension of the temporary ceasefire, originally initiated last Friday.

This extension will span at least another 24 hours. Qatar, serving as a mediator between the conflicting parties, conveyed that the extension follows the previous terms. This involves Hamas releasing 10 Israeli hostages daily in exchange for 30 Palestinian prisoners.

Despite uncertainties until the final hour, the extension became uncertain due to a failure to agree on a new list of Israeli captives for release from Gaza on Thursday. Initially, Hamas claimed that Israel rejected a proposed list, which included seven living captives and the remains of three individuals reportedly killed in prior Israeli airstrikes. Subsequently, Israel mentioned that Hamas submitted an improved list, paving the way for the extension. The negotiations between the two sides seem to intensify as a significant number of women and children held by Hamas are being released.

The comment by Mohamed Elmasry suggests that as the conflict prolongs, Hamas may face challenges in obtaining additional civilian hostages for exchange due to their limited availability.

The situation involves ongoing negotiations between Israel and Hamas, and the extension of the truce is providing relief in Gaza. The possibility of Hamas seeking greater concessions, such as a permanent ceasefire and the release of all Palestinian prisoners, is also discussed.

International pressure for a lasting ceasefire has increased after nearly eight weeks of Israeli bombardment and a ground campaign in Gaza. The Israeli attacks have resulted in significant casualties and a humanitarian crisis. Israel has welcomed recent releases of hostages and committed to maintaining the truce as long as Hamas continues freeing captives. However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted that Israel would eventually resume attacks to confront Hamas, which has governed Gaza for 16 years, once the phase of returning abductees concludes. Netanyahu stated unequivocally, “There is no way we are not going back to fighting until the end.”

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