Israel-Hamas truce extended for two days as hostage releases persist

The mediator Qatar announced on Monday that the truce between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which teetered on the brink of expiration, has been extended by two days.

The extension signifies a continued halt in the seven-week conflict between Israel and Hamas. The conflict ensued after Hamas’s incursion into southern Israel on October 7, resulting in the deaths of approximately 1,200 people and the abduction of around 240 hostages.

Since the initiation of the four-day truce on Friday, there has been a daily release of hostages by Hamas, reciprocated by Israel’s release of some Palestinians in its custody. Israel had previously declared its intention to prolong the truce by one day for every 10 additional hostages released.

“A truce extension has been agreed upon to continue the humanitarian pause for an additional two days in the Gaza Strip,” announced a spokesperson from the Qatari foreign ministry on the social media platform X. Hamas also confirmed its agreement to the two-day extension.

A White House official, as reported by Reuters, confirmed that an agreement had been reached regarding the truce extension. However, Israel has not commented on this matter so far.

Meanwhile, late on Monday night, Hamas released 11 Israeli hostages. With these latest releases, Hamas has liberated a total of 69 individuals since the commencement of the truce on Friday, encompassing both Israelis and non-Israelis.