Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is entering its final day…and efforts are underway to extend it

Date:

Qatar, Egypt and the United States are pushing to extend the ceasefire beyond Monday, but it remains unclear whether this will happen, while clashes and mutual recriminations threaten to undermine the existing agreement.

Hamas has said it wants to extend the ceasefire, which enters its fourth and final day on Monday, if serious efforts are made to increase the number of Palestinian prisoners Israel releases.

Israel released 39 Palestinian prisoners on Sunday, bringing the total number of Palestinian prisoners freed since the start of the ceasefire to 117.

Hamas said it had handed over 13 Israelis, 3 Thais and a Russian citizen, and the International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed on Sunday that it had succeeded in transferring them from Gaza.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with security forces inside the Gaza Strip, where he indicated the campaign was far from over.

Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that he spoke with soldiers and commanders and received a security briefing.

Speaking to US President Joe Biden regarding the release of hostages, Netanyahu also said that he would welcome the extension of the temporary ceasefire if 10 hostages were released per day.

But Netanyahu also told Biden that, at the end of the ceasefire, “we will return with full force to achieve our goals: eliminating Hamas, making sure the Gaza Strip does not return to what it was, and of course freeing all the hostages.”

The killing of a Palestinian farmer in central Gaza highlights the fragility of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

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The Palestinian Red Cross said the farmer was killed when Israeli forces targeted him in Makassi refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

What happened in the past days?

  • The four-day ceasefire in Gaza is the first stop in the seven-week war between Israel and Hamas.
  • Fighting has erupted since Hamas militants invaded southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and arresting 240, Israel said.
  • In response to the attack, Israel vowed to eliminate Hamas militants who run the Gaza Strip, raining bombs and missiles on the area and launching a ground offensive in the north.
  • Palestinian health officials said Saturday that the war has killed about 14,800 people so far, about 40 percent of them children, and displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
"Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert."

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