The fourth stage of prisoner swap deal between Hamas and the Zionist entity has been implemented on Monday, as Qatar has announced the extension of the Gaza truce for two more days.
Zionist media reported that the Red Cross received 11 Israeli captives. Meanwhile, Hamas published the names of the Palestinian captives released in the fourth stage.
Media had reported concerns have been flagged by both Hamas and ‘Israel’ with the list of hostages who were up for release on Monday.
Reuters news agency cited an official briefed on the matter as saying that Qatari mediators were working with both sides to resolve the issues and avoid delays.
“There is a slight issue with today’s lists. The Qataris are working with both sides to resolve it and avoid delays,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
Later on Monday, Israeli PM’s office said it has received another list of names of Palestinian prisoners to be released and that discussions were continuing.
The prisoners who are to be freed on Monday are among the fourth batch of captives whom Hamas and the Zionist entity agreed to release as part of a four-day truce.
Since Friday, Hamas has released 58 captives, including Israelis and citizens of Thailand, the US and Russia. The Israeli occupation, for its part, has released 117 Palestinians from its prisons.
Maysoon Jabali, a female #Palestinian ex-prisoner who was released last night, speaks about the inhumane treatment of Palestinian prisoners and detainees inside Israeli dungeons.#FreeThemAll pic.twitter.com/caOorVYmjP
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) November 27, 2023
An Israeli government spokesperson said on Monday that the total number of hostages still held in Gaza was now 184, including 14 foreigners and 80 Israelis with dual nationality.
Extension of Truce
Hamas Movement announced, in a statement, the extension of the temporary humanitarian ceasefire for an additional two days with the same conditions as the previous ceasefire.
Islamic Jihad Movement indicated that the Palestinian resistance wants the truce extension to be a chance for the Gazans to receive as much of their basic needs as possible as more aid trucks enter the Strip.
Many world leaders and international bodies had been calling for its extension, as the four-day truce deal neared its end.
A Palestinian official, familiar with the truce talks, said both Hamas and the Zionist entity had shown a positive attitude to requests to extend the four-day pause in fighting, but added that “a final decision hasn’t yet been reached”.
Qatar, Egypt, the United States, the European Union and Spain were all working to extend the ceasefire, the Palestinian Authority’s foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki, said during a conference in Barcelona devoted to the crisis.
Eilon Levy, Israeli government spokesperson, has said that Hamas was aware of Israeli willingness to extend the truce in return for the release of 50 more captives held in Gaza.
Earlier, an Israeli official told Reuters the onus was on Hamas to produce a new list of 10 hostages it could free on Tuesday in exchange for that becoming an additional truce day. That process would continue for a maximum of five additional days to the current truce, the official added.
On the other hand, Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan, speaking to Lebanon’s LBC broadcaster, said the group would try to find more hostages to release and thus prolong the truce. Hamas has previously said it is not holding all the hostages who were brought to Gaza.
Calls for Extension
UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, said that a long-term ceasefire needed in Gaza.
“We do hope the truce is extended. We have been calling for this truce to transform into a longer-term humanitarian ceasefire,” UNRWA Global Director for Communications Juliette Touma told Al Jazeera.
Touma, who recently visited southern Gaza, described the area as a “ghost town”.
For his part, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell described the truce as an important first step “in the Israel-Hamas conflict,” noting that “much more is needed to find a way out of the crisis.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had said that an extension of the truce “would allow for much-needed relief to the people of Gaza and the release of more hostages”.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson urges that the truce take a “stable form and that the cruel aggression of the Zionist regime against Gaza is not repeated”.
“We want and expect… that the crimes of the Zionist regime against the Palestinian people will be stopped completely,” Nasser Kanaani said.
During his weekly news conference, Kanaani told reporters that Iran was “following” the possible extension of the truce.
Meanwhile, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said that the path towards a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestine conflict must begin with “ensuring an end to this brutal aggression”.
“Only a long and lasting peace will bring stability, there cannot be a Gaza-alone diplomatic approach,” he said at the Forum for the Union of the Mediterranean in Barcelona.
Source: Al-Manar English Website