Gaza, last day of truce: Israel and Hamas dispute their respective lists of hostages to be released


By John

Israel has received and is evaluating the list of the final 11 hostages who will be released today, on what on paper is the last day of the humanitarian pause agreed with Hamas. It is not clear what the critical issues encountered are, Israel itself defined it as “a problematic list”, while the respective families have not yet been informed. Hamas did the same according to which the names indicated by Israel are missing some detainees arrested before 7 October and who should have been released. It is Doha that is engaging in mediation to avoid any delays or setbacks.

The Palestinian terrorist group has freed 39 abductees in the first three days of a temporary ceasefire agreement, under which a total of 50 prisoners (of more than 200 held in Gaza) are to be released in exchange for 150 Palestinians from Israeli prisons. The agreement can be extended by one day for every 10 Israeli hostages released for 30 Palestinians.

Negotiations are therefore in full swing, with Hamas for its part reportedly leaning towards an extension “from two to four days” and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has been ambiguous on the issue.
“Supposing the release of another ten hostages every day is a blessing. But after the agreement we will return to our objective: eliminating Hamas,” he said. The Israeli leader, who today will ask the government for a “war” budget of 30 billion shekels (about 8 billion euros), said on Friday from Gaza that the offensive will continue “until victory”.

As of Friday, 39 Palestinian hostages and 117 prisoners have been released under this agreement.
Another 24 hostages, mostly Thais working in Israel, were released outside the deal.

The truce has given relief to the inhabitants of Gaza, but the humanitarian situation remains “dangerous” and the needs “unprecedented”, estimated the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).
According to the UN, 248 humanitarian trucks have entered the Strip since Friday. “We should send 200 trucks a day for at least two months to respond to needs,” said UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna.