Israel-Hamas truce extended by two days

DOHA/GAZA/TEL AVIV  -  Qatar Monday announced that an agreement had been reached to ex­tend the truce in the Gaza Strip for an additional two days. Qa­tar’s foreign ministry made the announcement on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. The announcement comes after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a call with the prime minister of Qatar Monday, according to a source familiar. Egypt had said earlier that there were ongoing efforts to extend the pause by two days. Hamas said it agreed with Qatar and Egypt to ex­tend the truce for an addi­tional two days “under the same conditions reached before.” Hamas said it re­ceived a list of Palestinian prisoners that are set to be released on Monday from Israeli detention facilities. The list includes three fe­male prisoners and 30 teenage males. 117 wom­en and children have so far been released from Israe­li prisons: 39 on Friday, 39 on Saturday and 39 on Sun­day. The two-day extension of the truce between Israel and Hamas will not go into effect until the hostages set to be released on Mon­day are freed, according to Mark Regev, a senior advis­er to Israel’s prime minis­ter. Regev confirmed that a truce extension had been reached and under the agreement, Hamas would release 10 hostages each day. “For every 10 hos­tages released, we’re will­ing to give an extension of another day, and if Hamas will release Israeli hostag­es as agreed we will extend — that’s the bottom line,” Regev said. Regev said he believes the hostages re­leased over the next two days would be women and children. The White House said administration offi­cials “certainly hope” ad­ditional Americans will be among those hostag­es released on Monday by Hamas. National Securi­ty Council spokesperson John Kirby said officials were going to be “watching closely to see if any Amer­icans are in that group” of hostages set to be released on Monday. He also said that they welcomed the announcement from Qa­tar that the humanitari­an pause will be extended through Thursday morn­ing Israel time. He said because of the extension, “Hamas has committed to releasing another 20 wom­en and children over the next two days.” The White House also said they “hope to see” the pause extended further.When asked if the president has received any reassuranc­es from his counterparts that Americans will be among the hostages re­leased on Monday, Kir­by reiterated that the ad­ministration hopes they will be released today but that the White House will not know for sure un­til they are released and cross the border into Isra­el.Kirby said that he was not aware of any addition­al “hold-ups” for the free­ing of more hostages and noted that the “sticking point” today was whether two mothers would be re­leased with their children. He said so far it looks like they will be able to. Kir­by added that the White House does not have any information on the condi­tion of the American hos­tages still being held and that the administration “won’t breathe a sigh of relief until we know we’ve got today’s hostages out.”

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