Gaza Truce Decision Made

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The truce between Israel and Hamas in Gaza was extended. This was following intervention from Qatar, who has been the key player in brokering exchanges between Israel and its enemy.

Hamas released additional hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. Questions about what Hamas will do once it runs out of hostages to release are already buzzing. NPR says:

A temporary truce between Israel and Hamas was set to expire on Wednesday, but mediators in Qatar are trying to extend it for at least another 48 hours to allow for the exchange of more captives and for additional aid to reach embattled Gaza.

On the second day of a two-day cease-fire extension, 10 more hostages were freed by Hamas in exchange for 30 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, Qatar’s foreign ministry announced. Separately, Hamas released two Russian citizens and four Thai nationals, Qatar said.

The first American hostage was among those released. The family thanked President Biden but was still waiting for the woman’s husband to be released. Hamas has been releasing women and children, but holding onto male hostages. CBS News says:

“I’ve got some very good news to report. Liat Beinin is safe in Egypt, she’s crossed the border,” Mr. Biden said in brief remarks Wednesday afternoon. “I talked with her mother and father, they’re very appreciative, and, uh, things are moving well. She’ll soon be home with her three children. That’s all I have to say for right now.” The Israeli government listed her name as Liat Binin Atzili, age 49.

”I am incredibly relieved and grateful that my daughter is alive and will soon be returned to her family,” her father, Yehuda Beinin, said in a statement. “Although I am overjoyed that she will be reunited with us, I remain committed to the mission of bringing my son-in-law, Aviv, home as well.” He thanked President Biden for helping secure the release of the hostages, and added, “We must keep working to bring all of the hostages home.”

Hamas still has hostages, and are almost certainly reposition troops. Israel, on the other hand, will be receiving military aid soon and collecting intelligence. Which side is most gaining from the truce is not clear at present.

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