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Israel, Hamas due to release more people amid efforts to extend truce

Admin By Admin Nov29,2023


Qatar spoke to Hamas before the meeting to get a sense of what the group might agree to. The Israelis and Hamas are now internally discussing the ideas explored at the meeting, the source added.

Separately, foreign ministers of the Group of Seven nations on Tuesday called in a joint statement for an extension of the ceasefire and more humanitarian aid.

About 159 hostages remain in Gaza. The White House said on Tuesday this includes eight to nine Americans. US national security spokesperson John Kirby said the US was hopeful Hamas would release more Americans, and the US government would work with Qatar to extend the pause in fighting.

“We want to see all the hostages out. The way to do that is these pauses,” Kirby told reporters traveling on the president’s plane on Tuesday.

WARNING OF MORE DEATHS DUE TO DISEASE IN GAZA

The truce has brought Gaza its first respite after seven weeks of fighting and bombardment that has reduced much of the seaside enclave to rubble. It had been due to expire overnight into Tuesday, but both sides agreed to extend the pause to allow for the release of more people.

Israel’s siege has led to the collapse of Gaza’s health care system, especially in the north where no hospitals remain functioning. The World Health Organization said more Gazans could soon be dying of disease than from bombing and many had no access to medicines, vaccines, safe water and hygiene and no food.

More than two-thirds of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have lost their homes to Israeli bombardments, with thousands of families sleeping rough in makeshift shelters with only the belongings they could carry. They are desperately short of food, fuel and clean water.

“We have a dramatic humanitarian situation. At the same time, we want to have the full release of all hostages, that we believe should be unconditional and immediate. But we need a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza now,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters on Tuesday.



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