The truce that came into force on November 24 between Israel and Hamas, in power in the Gaza Strip, was extended at the last minute on Thursday morning, the two belligerents indicated. The truce was due to expire at 7:00 a.m. local time (5:00 a.m. GMT), but a quarter of an hour before the deadline, the Israeli army issued a statement indicating that the “operational pause” would “continue”, “in light of the efforts of the mediators to continue the process of releasing the hostages held in Gaza. Hamas, for its part, indicated that the truce was extended for “a seventh day”. In addition, eight hostages, including Frenchwoman Mia Schem, were released and handed over to the Red Cross, the IDF reported.
The main information:
- Hamas announces extension of truce with Israel for a “seventh day”
- The Hamas terrorist movement claimed responsibility for the shooting attack that left three people dead in Jerusalem on Thursday
- Qatar confirms extension of truce between Israel and Hamas until Friday
- China calls for ‘lasting humanitarian truce’
- 17 former Thai Hamas hostages en route to Bangkok
- The Israeli army announced that eight hostages, including Frenchwoman Mia Schem, had been released and handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
A source close to Hamas tells AFP that the movement “is ready to extend the truce”
Hamas is “ready to extend the truce” in force since November 24 and scheduled to end on Friday at 7:00 a.m. (05:00 GMT), a source close to the Palestinian Islamist movement told AFP on Thursday evening.
“The mediators are leading intense efforts, which are currently continuing, to (obtain) an additional day of truce and then work towards an extension of several more days,” said the source, who requested anonymity.
In Israel, Blinken exerts maximum pressure on Netanyahu
The American Secretary of State said he hoped Thursday in Israel that a fragile truce between Israel and Palestinian Hamas could continue for “an eighth day and beyond”, while warning the Israelis in the event of a resumption of fighting.
Antony Blinken called on Israel to create “safe” zones for civilians in the south and center of the Gaza Strip in the event of a resumption of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement.
“Plans for the humanitarian protection of civilians must be put in place to minimize the deaths of innocent Palestinians,” he said during a press conference in Tel Aviv.
“This means taking more effective measures to protect the lives of civilians, including clearly and precisely designating areas and locations in southern and central Gaza where they can be safe and protected from the line of fire.” , he added.
Army announces that six Israeli hostages have been released in Gaza and are ‘on their way to Israel’
Nationals of Uruguay, Mexico and Russia are among the eight Israeli hostages released by Hamas on the seventh day of the truce in Gaza, Qatar, mediator of the agreement, said on Friday.
“The eight Israeli citizens released today as part of the agreement include two minors and six women,” said Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari. Thirty Palestinians were to be released from Israeli prisons in exchange for a total of 10 hostages in Gaza, a figure that includes “two Russian citizens who were released yesterday” on Wednesday, he added.
Two hostages, including a French woman, handed over to the Red Cross, according to the IDF
The Israeli army announced Thursday that “two Israeli hostages”, first handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Gaza Strip, were now “in Israel”, after being released as part of an agreement between Israel and Hamas. Among them is Mia Schem, a French woman kidnapped during the Hamas attack on October 7.
Since Friday, the Palestinian Islamist movement has released around ten hostages every day and Israel has released three times as many Palestinian detainees from its prisons. “Other Israeli hostages will be handed over to the ICRC in the coming hours,” specifies the Israeli army.
Hamas claims deadly attack in Jerusalem, calls for “escalation”
The Hamas terrorist movement claimed responsibility for the shooting attack that left three people dead in Jerusalem on Thursday and called for an “escalation of resistance” against Israel. “The brothers Mourad Nemr (38 years old) and Ibrahim Nemr (30 years old) (…), members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam brigades of Sour Baher”, a district of East Jerusalem “sacrificed themselves by carrying out an operation” which “killed three settlers and injured others”, Hamas said in a statement. Israeli police confirmed that the two attackers, brothers from East Jerusalem, had been shot dead.
Qatar confirms extension of truce between Israel and Hamas until Friday
The truce between Israel and Hamas will be extended by one day until Friday, mediator country Qatar confirmed on Thursday, as a six-day humanitarian pause in the Gaza Strip was about to end.
“The Palestinian and Israeli sides agreed to extend the humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip for another day,” Qatar Foreign Ministry spokesperson Majed al-Ansari said in a statement.
China calls for ‘lasting humanitarian truce’
China called Thursday for a “lasting humanitarian truce” in the war between Israel and Hamas, in a diplomatic document, as international mediators try to obtain a further extension of the cessation of fighting. While maintaining good relations with the Israeli authorities, Beijing has supported the Palestinian cause for several decades and campaigns for a two-state solution.
“All parties concerned must (…) immediately establish a lasting and prolonged humanitarian truce,” urged the Chinese Foreign Ministry in a document summarizing its position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The text calls for a “ceasefire and an end to the fighting”. It also asks the UN Security Council to send a “clear signal” of opposition to “forced displacements of Palestinian civilians” and to call “for the release of all detained civilians and hostages”.
The UN body must “require the parties concerned to exercise restraint in order to prevent the conflict from spreading,” the document adds.
17 former Thai Hamas hostages en route to Bangkok
Seventeen Thai hostages released in recent days by Hamas after several weeks in captivity in the Gaza Strip are expected in Bangkok on Thursday. The plane on which they are, accompanied by the head of Thai diplomacy, is due to land at Suvarnabhumi airport at 3:00 p.m. local time (08:00 GMT), welcomed by their families.
According to the Thai Ministry of Labor, around 30,000 Thais were working in Israel, mainly in the agricultural sector, at the time of the attacks. At least 32 of them were captured by Hamas during the bloody attack on Israel on October 7.
A first group of 10 was released last Friday, as soon as the truce concluded between Hamas and Israel, after weeks of negotiations led under the aegis of Qatar, Egypt and the United States. The other seven were released in the following days. All were recovering in an Israeli hospital before being repatriated, Thai officials said.