According to BBC, Israel’s military stated on Thursday that the temporary cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip will persist, citing ongoing mediator efforts for the release of hostages and adherence to the agreement’s terms.
In a separate statement, Hamas confirmed an agreement to extend the temporary ceasefire, initially initiated on Friday, for at least another 24 hours.
Qatar, mediating between the two parties, indicated that the extension follows the same terms as before, with Hamas releasing 10 Israeli hostages daily in exchange for 30 Palestinian prisoners.
As the deadline approached, the extension was uncertain when the sides couldn’t agree on a new list of Israeli captives to be released from Gaza on Thursday.
Hamas initially proposed a list rejected by Israel, including seven living captives and the remains of three individuals allegedly killed in previous Israeli airstrikes. However, an improved list from Hamas was later submitted, facilitating the extension.
The negotiations are intensifying as more women and children held by Hamas are released. With a limited number of civilian hostages left, Hamas might demand greater concessions, such as a permanent ceasefire and the release of all Palestinian prisoners, in exchange for freeing Israeli soldiers.
Analyst Mohamed Elmasry from the Doha Institute of Graduate Studies suggested that as the situation prolongs, the difficulty for Hamas to produce civilian hostages increases, potentially leading to more substantial demands from the group. The question remains on Israel’s willingness to meet those demands.