Israel said 11 hostages have been released from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip late Monday, the final day of a four-day truce between the warring sides. Qatar says Israel is to release 33 Palestinians from its prisons, mostly teenagers.
Hours earlier, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said Israel and Hamas agreed to extend their truce for another two days.
Monday’s releases bring the number of Israelis freed under the truce to 50, along with 19 hostages of other nationalities. So far, 117 Palestinians have been released from Israeli prisons. Roughly 240 hostages were captured by Hamas in its Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel that ignited the war. One was freed by Israeli forces and two were found dead inside Gaza.
Israel has said it would extend the cease-fire by one day for every 10 additional hostages released. After the announcement by Qatar — a key mediator in the conflict, along with the United States and Egypt — Hamas confirmed it had agreed to a two-day extension “under the same terms.”
With the truce deal has come increased shipments of fuel and supplies into Gaza — although aid groups say it’s still barely enough to dent the needs of the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza who have endured weeks of Israeli siege and bombardment.
More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed since the war began, roughly two thirds of them women and minors, according to the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza, which does not differentiate between civilians and combatants. Some 1,200 people have been killed in Israel, mostly during the initial incursion by Hamas. At least 77 soldiers have been killed in Israel’s ground offensive.