Dozens more hostages to be released from Gaza if deal extended

The final group of hostages to be freed under the initial deal is expected to emerge from Gaza later today.

About a dozen captives – women and children – should be released.

For every Israeli citizen freed, three Palestinian prisoners – women and minors – held in Israeli jails are being released.

Early indications suggest the truce could be extended. Israel is offering a further day of pause in the fighting in Gaza for every 10 captives released, and Hamas says it could agree to an extension.

A Palestinian official told the BBC between 20 to 40 additional Israeli hostages could be freed, which would possibly add an additional two to four days to the temporary ceasefire.

Around 180 people remain in captivity in Gaza – including about a dozen children – which gives Hamas leverage in its fight against Israel.

Some, however, fear an extended pause could give time for Hamas to regroup and organise its defences ahead of the possible restart of the Israeli campaign.

On Sunday, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was open to extending the deal, but also stressed that, after the temporary ceasefire, Israel would resume its offensive with the goal of “eliminating Hamas”.

In Gaza, the pause has allowed the delivery of much needed aid, as the humanitarian crisis triggered by weeks of unrelenting Israeli bombardment continues.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.