Diplomatic efforts are being made to continue the ceasefire, as Israel receives the latest list of hostages from Hamas that they will release, according to reports from CNN and The Washington Post on Wednesday.
Since the beginning of the ceasefire, 63 Israeli hostages and 20 foreign nationals have been released by Hamas and 180 Palestinian prisoners were released by Israel.
The ceasefire was originally supposed to end on Thursday but according to CNN, a member of Hamas’s political bureau said that they are “striving to extend the truce.”
The Washington Post reported according to an Israeli official that they are expecting an extension by two to three more days and stressed that the extension will not “lead to a permanent ceasefire.” CNN reported that according to negotiators, there are enough female and children hostages still left in the hands of Hamas that the ceasefire could extend by another two days before the discussion could turn to talk about the men and Israeli soldiers that are still held hostage.
Israel has sworn to annihilate Hamas, which rules Gaza. Health authorities in Gaza say Israel’s bombardment of the tiny, densely populated territory has so far killed more than 15,000 people, around 40% of them children.
CIA, Mossad heads met Qatari PM
The heads of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Israel’s Mossad met Qatar’s prime minister in Doha on Tuesday to build on the two-day extension of a truce between Israel and Hamas, a source briefed on the visit said.
The meeting was “to build on the progress of the extended humanitarian pause agreement and to initiate further discussions about the next phase of a potential deal,” the source told Reuters.
The outcome of the talks, which were also attended by Egyptian officials, was unclear, the source added.
CIA Director William Burns was in Doha “for meetings on the Israel-Hamas conflict including discussions on hostages,” a US official said on condition of anonymity. The official did not elaborate.
David Barnea, head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service, Burns, and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani met one day after Qatar announced the two-day extension of an original four-day truce deal in Gaza that had been due to expire overnight.
Qatar, where several political leaders of Hamas are based, has been leading negotiations between the Palestinian terrorist group and Israel.
The truce has brought the first respite to the Gaza Strip in seven weeks during which Israel bombed the territory heavily in response to a violent rampage on October 7 by Hamas terrorists who killed around 1,200 people and took 240 captives.
Barnea and Burns were previously in Qatar to meet Sheikh Mohammed on Nov 9.
Reuters contributed to this article.