New Delhi: Israel has agreed to release 50 women prisoners as part of a deal to extend a temporary truce with Hamas in Gaza, The Times of Israel reported. The Israeli government approved the list of these 50 women prisoners on X, hoping to secure the release of about 20 more Israelis who have been held captive by the Hamas terror group since October 7. The truce, which was initially for four days, will be extended by another two days, according to Qatar and the US, who confirmed the agreement. The extension will allow the release of about 10 more Israeli hostages per day.
The four-day truce, which was due to expire on Tuesday, was a result of US mediation and diplomacy. Under the terms of the deal, Israel agreed to stop its military operations in Gaza for four days and promised to release three Palestinian security prisoners for each of the 50 hostages freed from Gaza, The Times of Israel reported. So far, more than 50 hostages have been released, while 117 Palestinians have been freed.
US Prez Biden Welcomes Truce Extension
US President Joe Biden expressed his support for the two-day extension of the truce between Israel and Hamas, which was achieved through Qatar’s mediation, as The Times of Israel reported. In a statement, Biden said he had been deeply involved in ensuring the success of the deal, which was facilitated by US diplomacy. He also welcomed the release of more than 50 hostages by Hamas, including young children, mothers, and grandmothers.
Biden mentioned the case of Avigail Idan, a four-year-old Israeli-American girl who was freed yesterday after witnessing the murder of her parents by Hamas militants on October 7. Biden said he had spoken to her family and was working with Israel to provide her with the necessary care and support.
He also highlighted the increased humanitarian aid that was reaching the civilians in Gaza during the pause in fighting. He said the US was the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians and was committed to building a future of peace and dignity for them.
Biden thanked the leaders of Israel, Qatar, and Egypt for their cooperation and vowed to continue the efforts until all the hostages in Gaza were freed, as The Times of Israel stated. Earlier on Monday, Qatar announced that it had brokered an agreement between Israel and Hamas to prolong the four-day truce by another two days, according to Doha’s foreign ministry spokesperson.
This meant that at least ten more Israeli hostages would be released on Tuesday and Wednesday, while Israel would free 30 Palestinian prisoners on each day, as The Times of Israel reported. Hamas confirmed the truce extension and praised the Qatari and Egyptian mediation, but there was no immediate confirmation from Israel.