Israel, Hamas seek new deal to extend Gaza ceasefire

Israel and Hamas were negotiating through mediators on Wednesday over another potential extension of the Gaza truce.

The negotiation came with hours left to reach a deal before fighting was due to restart after a six-day pause.

So far, Gaza militants have freed 60 Israeli women and children from among the 240 hostages they seized in a deadly rampage on October 7 under the deal that secured the war’s first truce.

No fewer than 21 foreigners, mainly Thai farmworkers, were also freed under separate parallel deals.

In return, Israel has released 180 Palestinian security detainees, all women and teenagers.

Families of Israeli hostages were informed on Wednesday of the names of those due to be released later in the day, Israel’s public broadcaster Kan reported the final group to be freed under the truce unless negotiators succeed in extending it.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers published a list of 15 women and 15 teenagers to be released from Israeli jails in return.

For the first time since the truce began, it included Palestinian citizens of Israel as well as residents of occupied territory.

A Palestinian official told Reuters that, despite a willingness on both sides to prolong the truce, no agreement had yet been reached.

Discussions were still underway with mediators in Egypt and Qatar, the official said.

Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy said Israel would consider any serious proposal, though he declined to provide further details.

“We are doing everything we can in order to get those hostages out. Nothing is confirmed until it is confirmed,” Levy told reporters in Tel Aviv.

“We’re talking about very sensitive negotiations in which human lives hang in the balance,” he added.

Once the release of hostages ends, the fighting will resume. He said, “This war will end with the end of Hamas.”

Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines

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