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Hamas Delays Second Release Of Hostages Until Israel Lets Aid In North Gaza

Ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas brokered by Qatar (File)

Gaza:

The Hamas militant group announced that it had decided to postpone the second round of hostage releases scheduled for Saturday until Israel commits to allowing aid trucks into northern Gaza.

Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades said the release of the hostages would be delayed if Israel did not comply with the terms of the agreement to release Palestinian prisoners.

Israeli media on Saturday quoted unnamed security sources as saying the military would resume attacks in Gaza if the hostages were not released by midnight, after Hamas said it was delaying an exchange deal. Ta.

This comment was reported on Channel 13 News, N12 News, and the Ynet news website.

Earlier, an Israeli military spokesperson told France’s BFM television station that 13 Israeli hostages were expected to be freed unless there were last-minute changes.

He said 39 Palestinian prisoners would be released in return.

The Qatar-brokered ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas resulted in the exchange of 50 hostages and 150 Palestinian prisoners, some of whom have been convicted of weapons charges and violence.

In the first exchanges on Friday, 13 Israeli women and children were released from among about 240 hostages taken by Hamas fighters in a massacre in southern Israel on October 7. 24 imprisoned Palestinian women and 15 teenagers have been released from an Israeli prison.

Saturday’s setback comes as Egypt, which controls the Rafah border crossing into southern Gaza, where supplies of vital aid have resumed, announced it had received “positive signals” from all parties about the possibility of extending the deal. It happened just a few hours later.

Egyptian State Intelligence Service (SIS) Director Dia Rashwan said in a statement that Cairo had held extensive consultations with the parties to reach an agreement that would mean “further releases of detainees in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian prisoners of war in Israeli prisons.” He said he was doing so.

Israel has said the ceasefire could be extended if Hamas continues to release at least 10 hostages per day. Palestinian sources said up to 100 hostages could be freed.

Israel and Hamas have said fighting would resume as soon as the ceasefire ends, but US President Joe Biden said on Friday there was a real possibility of extending it.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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