Qatari mediators hope to extend temporary ceasefire as Israel receives list of hostages to be released
Qatar, which is mediating the conflict between Hamas and Israel, hopes that the ceasefire between the two sides can last longer than the agreed four days, Majed al-Ansari, the Qatari Foreign ministry spokesperson, told US broadcaster CNN. Meanwhile, Israel has received a list of names of hostages to be released on Sunday.
Following Qatar's mediation, Hamas released 17 hostages on Saturday in exchange for Israel's release of 39 Palestinian prisoners. On Friday, 24 hostages were released: 13 Israelis and 11 foreigners.
"We hope that the momentum created by the release operations of the past two days and this four-day agreement will allow us to extend the temporary ceasefire," al-Ansari said. This longer pause in fighting should allow "more serious talks to begin on the remaining hostages".
The temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas calls for a halt to fighting until at least Monday. But an extension of up to 10 days is possible. According to the agreement between Israel and Hamas, a total of 50 Israeli hostages will be released during this period in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners.
Israel has received a list of names of more hostages to be released on Sunday, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet announced on Sunday morning.
Qatar, Egypt and the US also want to ensure that the agreed amount of aid can reach Gaza. According to Israeli media reports, the deal will allow 300 food, medical supplies and fuel trucks into Gaza.
A convoy carrying Israeli hostages released by Hamas from the Gaza Strip arrives at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, 26 November 2023 © PHOTO FADEL SENNA / AFP