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Gaza: More hostages released after ceasefire extension

The temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has entered its fifth day after a 48-hour extension was agreed.

It is understood that three Palestinians will be released from Israeli prisons in exchange for each Israeli hostage returned from Gaza.

So far, the break in fighting has enabled the release of 50 hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and 150 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel. Some 19 other hostages, mostly foreign workers, were also freed by the Palestinian militants, though this fell outside the deal.

A US State Department spokesperson has confirmed that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will return to this region soon in the hopes of extending the truce even further.

Meanwhile, the UN has used the break in fighting to get urgently needed aid into Gaza but says much more is needed.

Conditions in Gaza have remained grim for 2.3 million Palestinians, hammered by weeks of Israeli bombardment and a ground onslaught that have driven three-quarters of the population from their homes.

Israel began attacking Gaza after Hamas fighters crossed the border on 7 October, killing 1,200 Israelis and taking more than 200 hostages.

By Nathan Morley | Vatican news

2023-12-01T17:24:38+00:00 December 1st, 2023|Categories: News|