Israel and Hamas Consider Extending Truce with Additional Prisoner ExchangesNovember 27, 2023
Israel and Hamas may be open to extending a cease-fire in Gaza after Monday, with a fourth exchange of terrorists for imprisoned Palestinians planned for later in the day. Israel has said it would extend the cease-fire by one day for every 10 additional hostages released. Hamas has also said it hopes to extend the truce, but Israel says it remains committed to crushing Hamas’ military capabilities and ending its rule over Gaza after its Oct. 7 attack. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would resume operations with “full force” as soon as the current deal expires if Hamas does not agree to further hostages releases. Two Egyptian officials said talks are aimed at extending the cease-fire for another four days, with one saying that both sides have agreed in principle. The release of dozens of people has rallied Israelis behind calls to return the remaining hostages. Hamas could still be holding up to 175 prisoners, including a number of soldiers. On Sunday, Hamas freed 17 hostages, including 14 Israelis, and Israel released 39 Palestinian prisoners. Most hostages appeared to be in good physical condition. The Palestinian prisoners released were mostly teenagers accused of throwing stones and firebombs during confrontations with Israeli forces, or of less-serious offenses. Many Palestinians view prisoners held by Israel as heroes resisting occupation. More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed since the war began, roughly two thirds of them women and minors. More than 1,200 people have been killed on the Israeli side, mostly civilians killed in the initial attack. At least 77 soldiers have been killed in Israel’s ground offensive.