Qatar says Israel-Hamas truce extended two more days

November 27, 2023

Qatar announced that the four-day ceasefire, which was due to end Monday, has been extended by two more days. 

The announcement came soon after the Israeli government said the families of the hostages slated for release on Monday had been notified.

The Biden Administration had been pushing for the cease-fire extension.

During a news conference Sunday afternoon following the release of 17 more hostages including three Americans, Biden said he expressed hope in extending the truce “so that we can continue to see more hostages come out and surge more humanitarian relief into those in need in Gaza.” 

So far, more than 40 of the agreed-upon 50 hostages—all women and children—have been released from Hamas’ captivity amid the truce. Meanwhile, Israel has released 78 Palestinians it was holding prisoner, and has received a list of other names for a third group to be released; Israel promised to free 150 prisoners in total.

The released Palestinians have also been mostly women and children.

Israel earlier said it would extend the cease-fire by one day for every 10 additional hostages that Hamas releases.

Hamas has also said it was hoping to extend the initial four-day truce, with a source close to the militant organization telling the European news service AFP, “Hamas informed the mediators that the resistance movements were willing to extend the current truce by two to four days.”

The source added, “The resistance believes it is possible to ensure the release of 20 to 40 Israeli prisoners” during such an extended time period.  

On Sunday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN, “If Hamas wants to see an extension of the pause in fighting, it can continue to release hostages. If it chooses not to release hostages, then the end of the pause is its responsibility, not Israel’s, because it is holding these hostages completely illegitimately and against all bounds of human decency or the laws of war.”

Israeli leaders, though, have been playing down any talks of a lasting halt in the fighting, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying, “We continue until the end—until victory.”

Biden and Netanyahu spoke Sunday. The President cheered the release of hostages, but the two leaders agreed that the work is not yet complete and will continue to work to secure the release of all the hostages—Hamas took about 240 in total during its October 7 attack on Israel that sparked the war.

During the call, Netanyahu thanked Biden for his efforts in implementing the cease-fire deal, which was also brokered by negotiators from Qatar and Egypt. The two leaders also agreed to remain in close contact over the coming days. 

PHOTO: Released hostages welcomed home by family on Sunday, per IDF

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