… we welcome the announcement … that the humanitarian pause in Gaza, now in its fourth day, will be extended for another two days through Thursday morning, Israel time.United States National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Monday after Qatar announced an extension of the four-day pause on fighting in Gaza.
Why It Matters: The four-day pause in fighting deal reached by Israel and Hamas last week has been extended for two more days. Diaa Rashwan, head of the State Information Service in Egypt (a country helping to mediate talks), said the extension includes the daily release of 10 hostages in Gaza and 30 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. It will also bring more food, medicine, and fuel into Gaza.
According to Kirby, “Hamas has committed to releasing another 20 women and children over the next two days.” He added that the U.S. would like to see it “extended further until all the hostages are released.”
The Numbers: Since Friday, Hamas has released a total of 51 Israeli hostages (most of whom are women and children) and Israel has released 150 Palestinian prisoners under the pause in fighting deal.
Gaza’s Hamas-run Health ministry, “which does not differentiate between civilians and combatants,” says more than 13,000 Palestinians have been killed since the Israeli military defensive began, while “More than 1,200 people have been killed on the Israeli side, mostly civilians killed in the initial attack” (The Associated Press).
Hamas and Israel Extend Cease-Fire for 2 Days, Qatar Says (The New York Times)
by Sarah Pinkerton,