Prospects Brighten For Prolonged Ceasefire As Israel and Hamas Consider Further Extension

Israel and Hamas have released additional prisoners as part of the extended ceasefire deal, marking the fifth day of the temporary truce in the Gaza Strip conflict. 

The ceasefire, initially expected to last four days, was extended by two days on Monday, and there are reports suggesting a further extension for a total of nine days, with three more days already reportedly agreed upon.

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On the fifth day of the ceasefire, Israel released another 30 Palestinian prisoners, bringing the total number  to 180, while Hamas released 81 hostages since the ceasefire commenced last Friday. 

As the six-day truce approaches its final day, there are hopes for additional releases of hostages and prisoners.

Negotiations mediated by Qatar are ongoing, and if successful, there may be an extension of the temporary ceasefire.

Israel has said the truce could be prolonged further, if Hamas could continue to release at least 10 Israeli hostages per day. 

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Qatar is actively working with both sides to extend the temporary ceasefire, with discussions taking place at the United Nations General Assembly. 

Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour has called for a permanent ceasefire to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

“As the Assembly’s resolution had foreseen, only a truce could allow sincere efforts to begin to address the humanitarian catastrophe being inflicted by Israel, the occupying power in Gaza,” Mr Mansour said.

“Only a truce could lead to the release of people held in captivity and avoid further regional escalation. This truce must turn into a permanent ceasefire. The massacres of Palestinian children, women and men cannot resume. Should not resume. You should not allow it to resume. That human conscience cannot bear it.”

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