A 12-year-old boy walks past houses destroyed by Israeli airstrikes, in the city of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. Photo Courtesy: UNICEF/Eyad El Baba
Israel and Hamas have decided to extend their temporary truce by two days on Monday (November 27, 2023).
The initially announced four days of the ceasefire ended on Monday.
According to reports, the fresh two-day truce is likely to ensure the release of 20 more hostages held by Hamas.
Qatar Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed Al-Ansari confirmed the development on X: "The State of Qatar announces, as part of the ongoing mediation, an agreement has been reached to extend the humanitarian pause for an additional two days in the Gaza Strip."
Qatar's Foreign Ministry said the agreement was reached within the framework of the joint mediation between the State of Qatar, the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the United States of America.
Majed bin Mohammed Al Ansari said in line with the commitments of the fourth day of the pause, 33 Palestinians were released in exchange for 11 Israeli hostages in Gaza.
He said that the list of those released from Israeli jails included 30 minors and three women, while the list of Israeli hostages released from Gaza included three French nationals, two German nationals, and six Argentine nationals.
Welcoming the extension of the truce, US President Joe Biden said in a statement: "I have remained deeply engaged over the last few days to ensure that this deal—brokered and sustained through extensive U.S. mediation and diplomacy—can continue to deliver results. Thus far, more than 50 hostages have now been released and returned to their families."
"The humanitarian pause has also enabled a significant surge in additional humanitarian assistance to the innocent civilians who are suffering across the Gaza strip," he said.
He said: "We are taking full advantage of the pause in fighting to increase the amount of humanitarian aid moving into Gaza, and we will continue our efforts to build a future of peace and dignity for the Palestinian people."
Meanwhile, desperate Gazans in the north of the enclave had their first sip of clean water in weeks on Monday (November 27, 2023) as a continuing pause in fighting enabled broadening aid access to the Strip, UN humanitarians said.
"This aid barely registers against the huge needs of 1.7 million displaced people," a statement from the UN Secretary-General's office said, highlighting his call for a full humanitarian ceasefire. "The humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is getting worse by the day."
- North Korean workers beat up Chinese factory manager to death over nonpayment of wages
- Pakistani human rights activist Hidayat Lohar shot dead
- UN says drastic erosion of women’s rights in Afghanistan continues
- Remaining two Afghan prisoners released from Guantanamo prison, arrive in Afghanistan
- UN food agency ramps up deliveries amid worsening food security in Ethiopia