Tue 28 Nov 2023 3:20 pm - Jerusalem Time
Israel and Hamas hint at the possibility of expanding exchange operations parameters
A source close to the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip confirmed, on Tuesday, the exchange of lists containing the names of ten hostages held by the Palestinian movement in exchange for 30 Palestinian detainees on the fifth day of the truce with Israel.
The truce between Israel and Hamas was extended on Tuesday to allow the release of more Israeli hostages and Palestinian detainees and the delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip, where the humanitarian situation remains “catastrophic.”
Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majid Al-Ansari said in a press conference today that Doha is focusing on extending the ceasefire beyond tomorrow, based on the movement’s ability to continue releasing 10 hostages per day.
He added that Qatar cannot verify the number of hostages remaining after the twenty that Hamas will release today and tomorrow, which are two days added to the truce that was initially scheduled to last 4 days.
Hamas said it was seeking to reach a new truce agreement with Israel under which the movement would release hostages other than the women and children it has already released so far, according to Reuters.
Statements in this regard issued late yesterday by Khalil al-Hayya, leader of the Hamas movement, coincided with Israel expanding the list of female Palestinian detainees that it could release in exchange for the release of hostages, which represents another indication that amending the terms of the truce is being considered.
Al-Hayya said: “We hope that the occupation will comply within the next two days because we are explicitly seeking to enter into a new deal other than women and children, so that we can exchange other categories that we have.”
He added that there is an effort “to go towards an additional period to complete the exchange process with the people we have available to whom we can exchange at this stage.”
Yesterday, the truce, which was initially agreed to last 4 days, was extended for two additional days.
Under the agreement reached with Qatari and Egyptian mediation last week, Hamas released 50 Israeli women and children who were detained in Gaza, in exchange for the release of 150 Palestinian detainees from Israeli prisons, with the option of doubling these numbers if the truce is extended for 5 days.
Israel published in advance the names of 300 detained Palestinian women and male minors for possible release.
Officials said that late yesterday, the Israeli government added the names of 50 female detainees to that list.
Israeli government spokesmen have not yet responded when asked about an explanation for the new number, which is not divisible by 3, which may mean that work is underway to prepare a new exchange formula.
Hamas captured about 240 people during its attack on southern Israel on October 7. Among the hostages still being held in the Gaza Strip are fathers, husbands, women and children, whom the movement released in recent days.
Source: Alsharq Alawsat