2-day truce extension reached; same terms as previous deal: Hamas

 November 28, 2023 

Source: Agencies

Palestinian prisoner Khalil Zama’ (C) gestures a victory sign after being released from an Israeli jail in exchange for Israeli captives released by Resistance party Hamas from the Gaza Strip, at his home in Halhul, north al-Khalil, in the occupied West Bank on November 27, 2023 (AFP)

By Al Mayadeen English

The Palestinian Resistance party says the deal to extend the temporary truce was agreed upon with Qatar and Egypt.

An agreement to extend the truce agreement in return for a prisoner exchange between the Palestinian Resistance and the Israeli occupation, which was mediated by Egypt and Qatar, has been officially reached on Monday evening, Resistance party Hamas said in a statement.

The group confirmed that a 2-day extension was agreed upon with Cairo and Doha under the same terms as the previous truce.

A spokesperson of the Qatari Foreign Ministry also announced that the agreement was reached “as part of the ongoing mediation” by Doha.

20 captives for the liberation of 60 Palestinians

Meanwhile, prior to the announcment that a deal was reached, the head of Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) said a brokered truce extension would include the release of 20 Israeli captives held by the Palestinian Resistance, in exchange for 60 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

For today’s exchange batch, with the release of 11 Israeli hostages expected on Monday, negotiations remain ongoing for the release of 33 Palestinians.

Hamas announced that it has received the list of prisoners scheduled to be released today from the prisons of the Zionist enemy, which includes 3 female prisoners, namely:

– Yassmin Tayseer Abdul Rahman Shaaban, from Jenin
– Nofouz Jad Arif Hammad, from al-Quds
– Itaf Youssef Muhammad Jaradat, from Jenin

The list also included the names of 30 Palestinian children, whose names will be announced later.

Earlier todayReuters reported that Egyptian, Qatari, and US negotiators were on the verge of brokering an agreement to prolong the truce between the Palestinian Resistance and the Israeli entity.

Read more: Dark times awaiting ‘Israel’ after 4-day truce ends: WaPo

The original agreement, which went into effect on Friday and was scheduled to expire by early Tuesday morning, stipulates the liberation of 150 Palestinians in exchange for the Resistance releasing 50 Israeli captives.

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Temporary truce not enough

On his part, the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said a deal to renew the temporary ceasefire is within reach and could open the way for the international community to work on a political solution to the war.

However, as expressed by a number of world top officials and leading human rights organizations, a temporary truce is insufficient to end the suffering of the people in Gaza under the Israeli brutal war, which saw a 50-day-long blockade on basic life necessities, daily massacres, the destruction of entire residential areas, and forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of now homeless civilians.

As per the latest data released by the Palestinian Health Ministry, 16,000 Palestinians were martyred in the Israeli aggression on Gaza, over half of whom are children and women, and over 32,000 were wounded.

Commenting on the current talks, the United Nations chief Antonio Guterres called for a full humanitarian ceasefire rather than a pause, as the humanitarian crisis in the Strip is deepening by each passing day.

“The dialogue that led to the agreement must continue, resulting in a full humanitarian ceasefire, for the benefit of the people of Gaza, Israel and the wider region,” Guterres’ Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

“The United Nations will continue to support these efforts in every possible way,” he said.

Read more: US fears journalists enter Gaza during truce, expose Israeli crimes

Despite the increased amount of aid entering the besieged Strip, the current rate remains far below meeting the population’s humanitarian basic needs. As per the initial agreement, 200 aid trucks would be delivered to Gaza on a daily basis over the course of the truce, including fuel trucks which have been previously entirely prohibited by the occupation entity.

Dujarric added that the UN upscaled the delivery of aid into Gaza in the past 4 days, including to northern the Strip, the center of the Israeli brutal aggression.

“But this aid barely registers against the huge needs of 1.7 million displaced people. The humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is getting worse by the day.”

‘Hardly enough’

His conclusion echoes a statement made on Sunday by the head of UNRWA Philippe Lazzarini, who described the recent quantity of aid going into Gaza as “hardly enough”.

“Since … the beginning of the truce, we have seen a significant increase of trucks entering into Gaza. I would say on the first day we had an average of 40 trucks, which was far, far, far too little compared to the immense need in the Gaza Strip,” Lazzarini said in an interview for CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“And now I would say over the last few days, we had an average of 160 to 200 trucks crossing Rafah and entering into Gaza. Having said that, I do believe that the 200 are hardly enough for the humanitarian response if we want to reverse the impact of the siege in the Gaza Strip, but we need also commercial flow.”

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