Qatar says more hostages to be released

World Tuesday 28/November/2023 21:23 PM
By: DW
Qatar says more hostages to be released

Qatari mediators were focused on further extending a temporary cease-fire between Hamas and Israel in Gaza beyond Wednesday, said Majed al-Ansari, a spokesman for Qatar's Foreign Ministry.

"Our main focus right now is, and our hope, is it reach a sustainable truce that would lead to further negotiations and eventually and end to this situation of violence and to this war," he said a press conference in Doha.

Qatar on Monday announced a 48-hour extension of an initial four-day truce, opening the way for further releases of hostages held by the Palestinian group Hamas in exchange for the release of some Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Al-Ansari said 10 hostages held in Gaza will be released on Tuesday and another 10 on Wednesday.

He was unable to say how many hostages in total were still held by Hamas.

The AFP news agency quoted a "source close to Hamas" as saying that 10 hostages would be freed from Gaza on Tuesday, as well as 30 Palestinians who had been detained by Israel.

Israel, Hamas accuse one another of violating cease-fire

Israel's army said an exchange of fire had taken place in the north of the Gaza Strip, despite the ongoing truce between Israel and Hamas. Israel blamed Hamas for violating the current pause in the fighting.

It was not immediately clear if the fire exchange posed a threat to the four-day truce, which had just been extended by 48 hours to last until Thursday morning local time.

Israel said its soldiers were reportedly shot at and returned fire. Additionally, a total of three explosive devices exploded next to soldiers at two locations, the Israeli army said.

Hamas confirmed that a confrontation with the Israeli army had taken place. It blamed Israel for violating the four-day truce.

Hamas said it would continue to honor the truce as long as Israel did the same, and it called on Qatar and Egypt to help mediate the situation.