Israel-Hamas Armistice Extended; 11 More Hostages Freed in Exchange for 33 Palestinian Detainees

On Monday evening, Qatar announced an agreement to extend the humanitarian ceasefire for an additional two days. The ceasefire, set to expire on Tuesday morning, was prolonged. Hamas released 11 more hostages with dual citizenship on Monday evening. Iran also called for a permanent ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war on Monday, aiming to ensure the complete cessation of Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged a total humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement, citing the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Overnight from Monday to Tuesday, the Israeli prison authority reported the release of 33 Palestinian prisoners, a few hours after Hamas released 11 Israeli hostages detained in the Gaza Strip since its attack on October 7. On Friday, Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement committed to releasing approximately ten women and children hostages each day in exchange for three times as many Palestinian detainees, including women and youths under 19.

Eleven Israeli hostages abducted during the October 7 Hamas attack were en route to Israel on Monday evening, as announced by the Israeli army in a statement, citing information from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and reported by AFP .“Eleven hostages are currently on their way to Israeli territory,” the army stated.

This is the fourth group of hostages released since Friday, as part of an agreement set to expire Tuesday morning. The four-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, established in a deal that took effect on Friday, will be extended by two days, according to Qatar, the mediating country.

Under the expiring agreement’s terms, starting from Friday, Hamas released 13 Israeli hostages, all children and women, while Israel released 39 prisoners, also women and youths under 19. Hamas has already expressed readiness for a ceasefire extension, while Israel demands to “receive 50 additional hostages” after Monday night.

Blinken to visit Israel again this week

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Israel and the West Bank again before the end of the week, as well as Dubai, according to a senior official from the Department of State on Monday, as reported by AFP via Agerpres. This marks Blinken’s third visit to the Middle East since the beginning of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement on October 7.

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