Gaza ceasefire extended by 48 hours after crunch negotiations, says Qatar

Qatar, along with Egypt, has been the key mediator in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas


SEDEROT, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 27: Members of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) drive by a staging area near the border of Gaza as a four day cease fire between Israel and members of Hamas holds for the release of prisoners and hostages on November 27, 2023 outside of the city of Sedero in Tel Aviv, Israel. A temporary truce between Israel and Hamas began on Friday, followed by the return of some Hamas-held hostages as well as the release of Palestinian prisoners. If the truce holds, around 50 Israeli hostages are to be released, among the approximate 240 that Israeli authorities say Hamas took captive during its Oct. 7 attack. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A temporary ceasefire in Gaza between Israel and Hamas will be extended by 48 hours, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry has said.

The deal was agreed following talks mediated by the Gulf state alongside the US and Egypt.

Dr Majed Al Ansari, spokesperson for Qatar's foreign ministry, said: “The State of Qatar announces that, as part of the ongoing mediation, an agreement has been reached to extend the humanitarian truce for an additional two days in the Gaza Strip.”

The ministry’s announcement comes on the final day of a four day truce between both sides.

As part of the agreement, Hamas is expected to release further hostages on Tuesday and Wednesday although it is unclear yet how many.

Meanwhile, Israel has said it would extend the cease-fire by one day for every 10 additional hostages released. It is also expected that Israel will continue to release groups of Palestinian prisoners on a daily basis during the extension. 

In addition, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the families of the hostages to be released from the Gaza Strip on Monday had been informed.

The office had earlier said that discussions were continuing on a list that had been received, indicating that it had not yet been agreed, but the later statement signalled that the transfer would go ahead under the terms of the agreement.

UK Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell said the UK Government was “supportive” of the current pause in hostilities. However, he stressed: "But we are clear that this pause should not be a one-off.”

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