There’s a chance that the Palestinian organisation will release more hostages than the 69 that have been freed since Friday after mediator Qatar announced on Monday that a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which was about to end, has been extended by two days.
The ceasefire will extend the seven-week ceasefire between Israel and the Islamist Palestinian group, which started the most recent fighting with an incursion into southern Israel on October 7 that resulted in the deaths of about 1,200 people and the kidnapping of about 240 others.
Since the start of the four-day truce on Friday, Israel has freed some Palestinian prisoners and some hostages have been released by Hamas each day.
In the past, Israel promised to prolong the ceasefire by one day for each ten hostages that were freed, granting some relief from the conflict, which has claimed thousands of lives and destroyed the enclave, to the Palestinians living along the Mediterranean coast.
“An agreement has been reached to extend the humanitarian pause for an additional two days in the Gaza Strip,” a spokesperson for the Qatari foreign ministry stated on social media platform X. Hamas added that a two-day extension had been agreed upon.
Eleven Israeli hostages arrived in Israel on Monday, according to the Israeli military. They are the most recent to be released under the terms of the original truce, which was set to expire on Monday.
Prior to now, Hamas claimed to have received a list of 33 Palestinians who would be freed from Israeli prisons in exchange. Thirty of these were said to be minors and three females.