Qatar’s foreign ministry declared on Monday that the humanitarian truce in Gaza has been prolonged for an additional two days. The extension, agreed upon with Hamas and Egypt, maintains the same conditions as the preceding four-day ceasefire.
Hamas confirmed the extension, noting the agreement with Qatar and Egypt and expressing intentions to release more hostages to further prolong the truce. The negotiations involved conflicting preferences, with Hamas seeking a four-day extension and Israel pushing for day-by-day renewals. The mediation efforts of Egypt, Qatar, and the U.S. have been ongoing since Hamas militants’ attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7, which led to hostage situations.
As of Monday, 184 hostages are still held in Gaza, including 14 foreigners and 80 individuals with dual Israeli nationality. A fourth exchange of hostages was scheduled for later on Monday, building on the release of 58 individuals by Hamas since Friday, while 117 Palestinians have been freed.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged for a comprehensive humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, emphasizing the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza. Guterres reiterated the call for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages held by Hamas.
The situation continues to evolve, with diplomatic efforts and negotiations playing a crucial role in determining the course of the conflict and the duration of the truce.