The radical Palestinian group Hamas released ten Israeli and two Thai hostages on Tuesday evening, during the fourth day of truce with Israel. In exchange, Israel released 30 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. The truce will continue until Wednesday and Hamas has already given the Israeli government a list of ten other hostages that it intends to release. It is, however, possible that the fighting will be suspended for a few more days and that in the meantime there will be further mutual exchanges of hostages by Hamas and Palestinian prisoners by Israel.
An Israeli government spokesperson said Tuesday evening that it is possible the truce could be extended for another five days, but so far there has been no further confirmation or comment from officials. of Hamas.
Several Israeli newspapers report that on Tuesday the head of Mossad – the best-known Israeli intelligence agency – traveled to Doha, Qatar, where he met William Burns, director of the CIA – American intelligence – and the Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman al Thani, to discuss possible extensions of the truce. The mediation role of Qatar, which maintains good relations with Israel and Hamas, was fundamental in reaching a truce agreement last week.
So far, the truce has resulted in the release of 50 of the Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas in Israel on October 7, while Israel has released 150 Palestinian prisoners held in the country’s prisons. Hamas also released around twenty hostages of other nationalities, mainly Thai, but on the basis of separate agreements which were not part of those of the truce.
Meanwhile, hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian aid intended for Palestinian civilians entered the Gaza Strip from the Rafah crossing point on the border with Egypt. But the United Nations would also like to use the Kerem Shalom crossing, controlled by Israel and until now remained closed.
So far, the Israeli hostages have only been women and children, and the release of adult men and soldiers has not yet been discussed. However, it is possible that if the truce continues, Hamas will also release some men in the coming days. Israeli authorities, according to the Israeli television website Channel 13, In fact, they estimate that by Wednesday evening, all or almost all of the minors and women held hostage by Hamas will be released, and that adult men could then also be released. The terms of a possible new truce would be those already agreed in recent days, namely that for each Israeli hostage released, three women or children detained in Israeli prisons would be released.