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Israel, Hamas seek new deal to extend Gaza truce on final day

In the final hours before hostilities were scheduled to resume following a six-day break, Israel and Hamas were negotiating through mediators on Wednesday about a potential extension of the Gaza truce.

According to Israel’s public broadcaster Kan, families of Israeli hostages were notified on Wednesday of the names of the hostages who would be released later in the day. These hostages would be the last to be released under the truce, unless the negotiators are able to extend it.

So far Hamas, the militant group ruling the Gaza Strip, has freed 60 Israeli women and children from among the 240 hostages they seized in a deadly rampage on Oct. 7 under the deal that secured the war’s first truce. Twenty-one foreigners, mainly Thai farmworkers, were also freed under separate parallel deals. In return, Israel has released 180 Palestinian security detainees, all women and teenagers.

The penultimate release on Tuesday included for the first time hostages held by Islamic Jihad, a group allied to Hamas, as well as by Hamas itself.

The initial four-day truce was extended by 48 hours from Tuesday, and Israel says it would be willing to prolong it further for as long as Hamas frees 10 hostages a day. But with fewer women and children still in captivity, that could mean agreeing to terms governing the release of at least some Israeli men for the first time.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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