Friday, March 1, 2024

Truce in Gaza extended by two days, prisoner exchange to continue

Palestinians in Gaza welcomed the announcement by Qatar and Hamas that the truce would be extended until Thursday morning. The announcement came hours before the four-day humanitarian pause was about to end.

The Qatari foreign ministry on Monday announced that “an agreement has been reached to extend the humanitarian truce”.

Although the arrangements are not clear, Israel has agreed to add 50 female Palestinian prisoners to the roster of those scheduled for release in the event more Israeli hostages are freed from Gaza, the Israeli prime minister’s office announced on Tuesday.

Israel and Hamas have now both met their prisoner-captive exchange commitments under the initial four days of their truce agreement.

The Israeli government is yet to officially confirm the truce extension. US President Joe Biden issued a statement welcoming the two-day extension.

The European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, says he has conveyed his support for the extension in talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

Meanwhile, the number of Palestinians killed by Israel’s aggression on Gaza has passed the 15,000 mark, a spokesperson for the media office of the Palestinian Authority said.

The spokesperson added that among the dead are more than 6,150 children and 4,000 women. An additional 7,000 Palestinians are missing and believed to be under rubble or their fate is unknown. At least 4,700 children and women are missing.

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