Israel-Hamas truce updates | Israel President Herzog headed to COP28 in the UAE in push to free hostages

In a sign of the challenges facing negotiators, a Hamas source said the Palestinian militant group was not satisfied with Israel’s proposals for another extension

November 29, 2023 06:59 am | Updated November 30, 2023 06:25 am IST

A protestor stands next to a sign calling for the release of Kfir Bibas, 10 months, during a protest calling for the immediate release of hostages, especially Shiri Bibas, 32, her husband Yarden Bibas, 34 and their children Kfir Bibas, 10 months, and Ariel, 4, during the hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel, in Tel Aviv, Israel, November 28, 2023.

A protestor stands next to a sign calling for the release of Kfir Bibas, 10 months, during a protest calling for the immediate release of hostages, especially Shiri Bibas, 32, her husband Yarden Bibas, 34 and their children Kfir Bibas, 10 months, and Ariel, 4, during the hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel, in Tel Aviv, Israel, November 28, 2023. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

A group of 10 Israeli women and children and four Thai nationals have been handed over by Hamas to the Red Cross late Wednesday, the Israeli military said. The release was expected to be followed by Israel freeing 30 Palestinian prisoners.

Two Russian-Israeli women were also freed earlier Wednesday evening after being held captive by Hamas, and have arrived back in Israel.

Click here for November 28, 2023 updates on Israel Hamas truce deal

At the same time, international mediators are working to extend a cease-fire that’s just a few hours from expiring. Israel has agreed to extend the truce by one day for every 10 militant-held hostages who are freed. But in a sign of the challenges facing negotiators, a Hamas source said the Palestinian militant group was not satisfied with Israel’s proposals for another extension.

“What is being proposed in the discussions to extend the truce is not the best,” the source told AFP, adding that the talks were focused on extending the pause by “two days or more”.

The humanitarian pause in fighting between Israel and Hama, which was originally set to expire on Monday, has paused the deadliest fighting between Israel and Palestinians in decades.

However, Israel has vowed to resume the war in an effort to end Hamas’ 16-year rule of Gaza, but it’s facing mounting international pressure to extend the truce and spare southern Gaza a devastating ground offensive like the one that has demolished much of the north.

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  • November 30, 2023 05:34
    30 Palestinian prisoners freed under truce deal: Israel

    Thirty Palestinian prisoners were freed overnight Wednesday, Israeli prison authorities said, in the final exchange under an extended truce deal due to expire within hours.

    “During the night, 30 male and female security prisoners were released from a number of prison facilities,” the country’s prison service said in a statement.

    - AFP

  • November 30, 2023 05:10
    U.S. asks Israel to narrow zone of combat in any southern Gaza attack

    The United States is urging Israel to narrow the zone of combat and clarify where Palestinian civilians can seek safety during any Israeli operation in southern Gaza, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, to prevent a repeat of the massive death toll from Israel’s northern Gaza attacks.

    U.S. officials from President Joe Biden on down, including in the State Department and Pentagon, are pleading with Israel to take a more cautious approach if and when the Israeli military extends its offensive to southern Gaza.

    Two-thirds of the enclave’s population of 2.3 million have fled south to avoid the war zone in the north.

    Washington understands Israel’s desire to root out Hamas militants in southern Gaza but believes greater caution is needed in the heavily populated area, said two U.S. officials who provided some details of the advice being given.

    Many of the lead architects of the Hamas attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7, in which 1,200 people were killed, are in the south, one official noted.

    “But given that hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled to the south, at Israel’s request, we believe Israel should only move forward after operational planning has accounted for the presence of many more innocents,” the official said. Planning should include drawing lessons from the operations conducted in the north to enhance protections for innocent civilians, “including things like narrowing the zone of combat and clarifying areas where civilians can seek refuge,” the official said.

    - Reuters

  • November 30, 2023 04:21
    U.N. commission to investigate Hamas sexual violence, appeal for evidence

    A U.N. commission of inquiry investigating war crimes on both sides of the Israel-Hamas conflict will focus on sexual violence by Hamas in the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel and is about to launch an appeal for evidence, its chair told Reuters on Wednesday.

    Chair Navi Pillay on Wednesday said she would pass the evidence onto the International Criminal Court and called for it to consider prosecutions amid earlier criticism from Israel and families of Israeli hostages that the U.N. had kept quiet.

    “I’m now sitting as chair of a commission with the power to investigate this. So there’s no way we will not do so,” said Ma. Pillay, chair of the three-member commission of inquiry into abuses committed in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Already, she said some people are keen to provide testimonies and that these would be handed over to prosecutors.

    However, a major challenge for Ms. Pillay is that Israel has not cooperated with the commission, which it says has an anti-Israel bias. The commission could struggle to gather sufficient evidence to support future charges if access is not granted.

    Israeli authorities have already opened their own investigation into sexual violence during the most deadly attack on Israel in its history, including rape, after evidence emerged pointing to sexual crimes, such as victims found disrobed and mutilated.

    - Reuters

  • November 30, 2023 03:58
    U.S. top diplomat Blinken visits Israel to discuss Gaza truce, aid

    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived on Thursday in Tel Aviv where he was expected to meet with Israeli leaders to discuss extending Israel’s temporary truce with Hamas militants and boosting humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

    Mr. Blinken, making his third trip to the region since the deadly October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, is also expected to visit the occupied West Bank, where he will likely meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a Palestinian official said.

    “Looking at the next couple of days, we’ll be focused on...doing what we can to extend the pause so that we continue to get more hostages out and more humanitarian assistance in,” Mr. Blinken said at a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday.

    - Reuters

  • November 30, 2023 03:26
    Hamas unsatisfied with Israeli truce extension proposals, source says

    A Hamas source said Wednesday, hours before a truce in fighting with Israel in the Gaza Strip was set to expire, that the Palestinian militant group was not satisfied with Israel’s proposals for another extension.

    “What is being proposed in the discussions to extend the truce is not the best,” the source told AFP.

    The comments came amid negotiations led by Qatari and Egyptian mediators for a second extension to the truce, which has so far seen 60 of the hostages seized in the Hamas attacks of October 7, all of them women and children, released in exchange for 180 Palestinian prisoners and aid deliveries into the Gaza Strip.

    The current agreement is due to expire at 7 a.m. local time (0500GMT) on Thursday.

    - AFP

  • November 30, 2023 03:23
    Last planned release of hostages in Gaza begins, as mediators aim to extend Israel-Hamas truce

    A new swap of hostages held by Hamas for Palestinian prisoners in Israel got underway late Wednesday in the final hours of the current Gaza truce as international mediators raced to extend the halt of Israel’s air and ground offensive to allow further exchanges.

    The Israeli military said a group of 10 Israeli women and children and four Thai nationals had been handed over by Hamas to the Red Cross in Gaza and were heading to exit the territory. Earlier, two Russian-Israeli women were freed by Hamas in a separate release. Israel was set to free 30 Palestinian prisoners in return.

    Negotiators were working down to the wire to hammer out details for a further extension of the truce beyond its deadline of early Thursday. The talks appear to be growing tougher as most of the women and children held by Hamas are freed, and the militants are expected to seek greater releases in return for freeing men and soldiers.

    - AP

  • November 30, 2023 00:41
    Israel says 2 hostages released by Hamas in Gaza are now in Egypt, 10 others expected to be freed

    The Israeli military says Hamas has begun releasing 12 hostages from captivity in the Gaza Strip.

    The army said the first two hostages were transferred to Egypt late Wednesday. Ten others were expected to soon be freed.

    It was the sixth release of Israeli hostages under a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Israel was to free some 30 Palestinian prisoners later Wednesday.

    The cease-fire is set to expire early Thursday. International mediators were working to extend the truce by several days to allow further releases of hostages.

    Hamas captured some 240 hostages in the Oct. 7 cross-border attack that triggered the war. After the latest releases, roughly 150 hostages are believed to remain in captivity.

    - AP

  • November 29, 2023 22:55
    Restarted fighting in Gaza could ‘devour’ region: Chinese minister

    China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that a resumption of fighting in Gaza threatens to “devour the region.”

    “(A resumption) in fighting would only, most likely, turn into a calamity that devours the whole region,” he said. - AFP

  • November 29, 2023 22:49
    Gazans in midst of ‘epic humanitarian catastrophe’: UN chief

    Gazans are “in the midst of an epic humanitarian catastrophe before the eyes of the world,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday, while calling for an expansion of the current pause in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

    “Intense negotiations are taking place to prolong the truce — which we strongly welcome — but we believe we need a true humanitarian ceasefire,” he said at a United Nations Security Council meeting.

    Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told the meeting that the Palestinian people “are faced with an existential threat” amid the conflict.

    “We are owed respect to our inherent dignity... Israel has no right to self-defense against a people that it occupies,” he said. - AFP

  • November 29, 2023 20:59
    Palestinians inspect their homes

    KHAN YUNIS, GAZA - NOVEMBER 29 : Palestinian citizens inspect the effects of destruction caused by air strikes on their homes on November 29, 2023 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. A temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has held since Friday, offering Gaza residents respite from constant bombardment. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says that over 14,500 people in Gaza have been killed since Oct. 7, when Israel launched a military offensive in retaliation for Hamas's deadly cross-border attacks. (Photo by Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images)

  • November 29, 2023 20:33
    Hamas armed wing says youngest hostage, relatives killed in previous Israeli air strike

    The armed wing of Palestinian militant group Hamas said on Wednesday that 10-month-old child Kfir Bibas, his 4-year-old brother and their mother were killed in previous Israeli bombardment of the Gaza strip.

    The Israeli army said it is checking the claim by Al Qassam Brigades. Reuters could not immediately independently verify the claim. - Reuters

  • November 29, 2023 20:28
    More than 13,300 Palestinians killed

    More than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed, roughly two-thirds of them women and minors, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza, which does not differentiate between civilians and combatants.

    The toll is likely much higher, as officials have only sporadically updated the count since Nov. 11 due to the breakdown of services in the north. The ministry says thousands more people are missing and feared dead under the rubble.

    Israel says 77 of its soldiers have been killed in the ground offensive, and it claims to have killed thousands of militants, without providing evidence.

    The plight of the captives, and the lingering shock from the Oct. 7 attack, has galvanized Israeli support for the war. - AP

  • November 29, 2023 19:59
    Eight-year-old, teen shot dead in West Bank

    The Palestinian health ministry said in a statement that “Adam al-Ghul, eight years old, and Bassem Abu el-Wafa, 15 years old, were killed by bullets from the occupier” in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

    CCTV footage circulating online and on television news shows a boy being struck by a bullet and falling in the street, sending other children fleeing. 

    Other images show a teenager also being hit by a bullet and falling, then appearing to call for help as more shots hit the ground around him and other people run for cover. The teenager can be seen struggling on the ground in apparent agony for at least half a minute.

    An official with the Palestinian Red Crescent told AFP that the boy and the teen had been on a side street of central Jenin’s main thoroughfare, an area theoretically off limits to the Israeli military as it is under the sole control of the Palestinian Authority. Asked about the deaths by AFP, the army said it was “verifying” the information. - AFP

  • November 29, 2023 19:23
    Hope for permanent peace to rebuild homes, farm the land

    In the village of Alma al-Chaab, local hotel owner Milad Eid said about half of the farmland and groves of almonds, avocados and olives were burned, as well as eight houses and the water tank.

    “If there’s a longer calm, we can actually repair all of this,” he said, adding that officials from Lebanon’s government and Hezbollah’s construction arm, Jihad al-Bina, and some NGOs had visited to assess the damage.

    “We just need it to be over,” he said of the war. “We want an extension (of the truce) to get to a full calm. It seems possible.” - Reuters

  • November 29, 2023 18:53
    Hezbollah politician compensates for those affected

    A senior Hezbollah politician, Hassan Fadlallah, said his group had started paying compensation to people who had suffered losses from Israeli strikes.

    Citing a Hezbollah survey of damage caused by Israeli attacks, Mr. Fadlallah said 37 residential buildings had been totally destroyed and 11 more completely burned. Another 1,500 homes across the south had suffered varying degrees of damage. - Reuters

  • November 29, 2023 18:34
    People in southern Lebanon, rushing home amid truce, hope fighting is over

    People in southern Lebanon who fled last month have rushed home to inspect damage. 

    “We are very happy to have returned to the village,” Mbadda Salloum, a resident from the village of Yaroun, said outside a church damaged in the recent hostilities. 

    He had fled north with his family to the capital, Beirut. “We wish for this truce to be permanent, God willing.” - Reuters

  • November 29, 2023 18:17
    Mahmoud Abbas calling for an international conference

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is calling for an international conference to resolve the Mideast conflict. 

    He said Wednesday that the Palestinians are ready to work with the international community on a “serious political process” that leads to an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, territories Israel seized in the 1967 Mideast war.

    He also again called for a halt to the war in Gaza.

    Mr. Abbas’ Palestinian Authority administers parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Hamas drove his forces out of Gaza when it seized power there in 2007. - AP

  • November 29, 2023 17:50
    Blinken says to focus on extending Gaza pause on Israel visit

    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday he would work to prolong a pause in the fighting in Gaza on an upcoming visit to Israel. 

    “Looking at the next couple of days, we’ll be focused on doing what we can to extend the pause so that we continue to get more hostages out and more humanitarian assistance in,” Mr. Blinken said after a NATO meeting in Brussels.

    “We’d like to see the pause extended because of what it has enabled — first and foremost that is hostages being released, coming home, being reunited with their families.”

    The U.S. top diplomat said he believed an extension was also in Israel’s interest. Mr. Blinken will pay his third wartime visit to the Middle East to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv and with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah. - AFP

  • November 29, 2023 17:38
    Negotiations continue

    CIA director William Burns and David Barnea, who heads Israel’s Mossad spy agency, were in Qatar on Tuesday to discuss extending the cease-fire and releasing more hostages. Qatar has played a key role in mediating with Hamas. 

    Negotiations continued on Wednesday to extend the cease-fire, according to media reports, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is also expected to push for a longer truce, was set to visit the region this week.

    A joint statement from foreign ministers of the G7 group of wealthy democracies, which includes close allies of Israel, called for the “further extension of the pause” and for “protecting civilians and compliance with international law.” - AP

  • November 29, 2023 17:06
    Mediators look to extend truce in Gaza on its final day, with one more hostage swap planned

    International mediators worked on Wednesday to extend the truce in Gaza, hoping the territory’s Hamas rulers will keep freeing hostages in return for the release of Palestinian prisoners and further respite from Israel’s air and ground offensive. It will otherwise expire within a day. 

    The Biden administration has told Israel that if it resumes the offensive it must operate with far greater precision, especially in the south. That approach is unlikely to bring Hamas to its knees any time soon, and international pressure for a lasting cease-fire is already mounting.

    “How far both sides will be prepared to go in trading hostages and prisoners for the pause is about to be tested, but the pressures and incentives for both to stick with it are at the moment stronger than the incentives to go back to war,” Martin Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, wrote on X. - AP

  • November 29, 2023 16:39
    Gaza families return to homes in ruins

    Taghrid al-Najjar’s walls have collapsed, with furniture and appliances buried under concrete. Until the war, the 46-year-old mother had never left her farming village along the border with Israel in the southeast of the Strip. Ms. Najjar fled when Israeli bombardments started as it went to war with Hamas. For weeks she lived with nine members of her family in a Khan Yunis school converted into a makeshift camp for displaced people.

    Since Friday a truce has paused the fighting between Israel and Hamas, allowing them to return to a neighbourhood in ruins. “It is only here that I feel good,” she said. 

    “I discovered that my house had been completely destroyed -- 27 years of my life to build it and everything is gone!” she said. “For two days I couldn’t eat, then I told myself that I had to continue living,” she added, looking at her children. “My house is destroyed but my children are alive, so we will rebuild. We have already done it once, we can do it again,” she told AFP.

    Each night the family squeezes through a window to sleep in the only room where the walls have not entirely crumpled. - AFP

  • November 29, 2023 16:04
    Living conditions in Gaza
  • November 29, 2023 15:56
    Israeli, U.S. spy chiefs meet Qatari PM to discuss ‘building on’ Gaza truce

    (DOHA/WASHINGTON) The leaders of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Israel’s Mossad met Qatar’s Prime Minister in Doha to ‘build on’ the two-day extension of a truce between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, a source briefed on the visit said.

    The meeting was “to build on the progress of the extended humanitarian pause agreement and to initiate further discussions about the next phase of a potential deal,” the source said. “The outcome of the talks, which were also attended by Egyptian officials, was unclear,” the source added.

    CIA Director William Burns was in Doha “for meetings on the Israel-Hamas conflict including discussions on hostages,” a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity. - Reuters

  • November 29, 2023 15:45
    Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan speaks to UN Secretary-General António Guterres
  • November 29, 2023 15:29
    Tayyip Erdogan welcomes Gaza pause as temporary ‘stop of bloodshed’

    (ANKARA) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he welcomed a pause in the war in Gaza and the exchange of hostages and prisoners between Israel and Hamas as a temporary “stop of bloodshed” in the enclave.

    Speaking to lawmakers in Parliament, Mr. Erdogan said statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government were “lessening” Ankara’s hopes that the pause could turn into a full ceasefire, but added Turkey would ramp up diplomatic efforts for a lasting ceasefire and the exchange of hostages in coming days.

    Mr. Erdogan also said Turkey had “largely completed” evacuating its citizens from Gaza, where he repeated a genocide was taking place. He added that he would discuss the war in Gaza during a trip to Dubai later this week. - Reuters

  • November 29, 2023 15:17
    WHO warns that more people could die from disease than from bombing in Gaza  

    [CAIRO] The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on November 29 that more people in the Gaza Strip could die from disease than from bombing.

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s Directo-General, said there is a heightened risk of disease outbreaks because of overcrowded shelters and a lack of food, water, sanitation and medication.

    He said 111,000 people are suffering from respiratory infections and 75,000 others from diarrhoea, more than half of them under age 5.

    “Given the living conditions and lack of health care, more people could die from disease than bombings,” he said, calling for a sustained cease-fire. “It’s a matter of life or death for civilians.”

    The war, which was trigged by an attack by Hamas on southern Israel on Oct. 7, has displaced up to 1.8 million people, or about 80% of Gaza’s population, according to U.N. figures. — AP

  • November 29, 2023 15:09
    President Herzog honours author and peace activist murdered on October 7

    President of Israel Isaac Herzog on Tuesday met with members of the family of the late Lilach Kipnis, a member of Kibbutz Be’eri who was murdered at the age of 60 during the October 7 massacre, along with her husband Evyatar. Lilach had written a book about living near Gaza and was a trauma specialist and peace activist.

    Seven of her relatives were taken to Gaza as hostages. Some of them were released in the last four days during the ceasefire.

    Lilach wrote her book “On Scary Sounds” based on the shared experiences of the children from the Gaza area who she cared for when a social worker at the Resilience Center in the Eshkol Regional Council. These children suffered the constant threat of Hamas terrorism and the launching of rockets at their homes, forcing them into shelters frequently long before the October 7 attack.

    ANI

  • November 29, 2023 14:52
    Pope calls for truce extension in Gaza

    Pope Francis on Wednesday called for the continuation of the ongoing truce in the Gaza Strip, for the release of all hostages and for humanitarian aid access into the territory.

    “We call for peace,” he said during his Wednesday weekly audience, saying he was concerned by the lack of water, bread and by the suffering of ordinary people in Gaza.

    Reuters

  • November 29, 2023 14:42
    Hamas eyes Gaza truce extension for more hostage releases

    Hamas is willing to extend a truce for four days and release more Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, a source close to the militant group said Wednesday, as mediators sought a lasting halt to the conflict.

    Hamas on Wednesday “informed the mediators that it is willing to extend the truce for four days,” a source close to the militant group told AFP on condition of anonymity.

    Under that arrangement, “the movement would be able to release Israeli prisoners that it, other resistance movements and other parties hold during this period, according to the terms of the existing truce,” the source added.

    AFP

  • November 29, 2023 14:31
    Turkey plans field hospitals in Gaza

    (ANKARA, Turkey) Turkey’s Health Minister said his country hopes to soon set up field hospitals and start providing health services in Gaza.

    Fahrettin Koca made the announcement on X, formerly known as Twitter, hours after a Turkish delegation crossed into Gaza from Egypt to inspect possible sites for field hospitals. He did not provide additional information.

    Turkey dispatched a ship carrying medical equipment and supplies, including ambulances and eight field hospitals, to Egypt earlier this month. - AP

  • November 29, 2023 14:18
    A new lease of life

    Hostage.jpeg

    Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters accompany a newly released Israeli hostage, held since the Hamas’ October 7 attacks, before handing them over to the Red Cross in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 28, 2023. Photo Credit: AFP

  • November 29, 2023 14:03
    Several tonnes of medical items, food for Gaza flown into Egypt

    (WASHINGTON) White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the U.S. has airlifted more than 54,000 pounds of Gaza-bound medical items and food aid to a staging area in Egypt.

    “Two more airlifts are planned in the coming days. Since October 21, more than 2,000 trucks have delivered aid to Gaza,” Mr. Sullivan said. - AP

  • November 29, 2023 13:48
    Displaced families salvage what they can from destroyed homes in Gaza

    (Gaza Strip) Displaced Palestinian families in Gaza were using a pause in fighting on November 28 to search for belongings they left behind, with some scouring through rubble where their homes once stood.

    While the temporary cease-fire has stopped the Israeli airstrikes, homeless families in Johor al-Deek in central Gaza said they’re struggling to stay warm.

    There are about 1.8 million people displaced in Gaza, about three quarters of the besieged territory’s population, according to the U.N. humanitarian agency. - AP

  • November 29, 2023 13:35
    G7 urges release of all hostages and facilitated departure of foreign nationals

    (WASHINGTON) The G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the U.S. as well as the High Representative of the European Union are calling for the unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas and the facilitated departure of foreign nationals from Gaza, according to a statement released by the U.S. State Department.

    The G7 also said it supports the further extension of the current pause in fighting. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to work with all partners in the region to prevent the conflict from escalating further,” the statement said. - AP

  • November 29, 2023 13:30
    Aid trucks leave for Gaza

    Aid truck.jpeg

    Workers load humanitarian aid onto trucks leaving for Gaza, during a temporary truce between the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and Israel, at Nitzana crossing, Israel, on November 28, 2023. Photo Credit: Reuters

  • November 29, 2023 13:26
    Manila welcomes release of second Filipino hostage

    (MANILA, Philippines) A Filipino-Israeli woman arrived in Israel after being released by Hamas, as part of a group of 12 hostages, the President of the Philippines announced on social media. 

    Noralin Babadilla was the second of two Filipinos released from captivity in Gaza during the truce in the Israel-Hamas war. With her release, “all Filipinos affected by the war have been accounted for,” wrote President Ferdinand Marcos. - AP

  • November 29, 2023 11:48
    Thai hostages set to return after release by Hamas

    Seventeen Thai hostages kidnapped and held for weeks in the Gaza Strip by Hamas will arrive back in the kingdom on Thursday, officials said. Roughly 13 Thais remain among the hostages taken by Palestinian militants during last month’s cross-border raid into Israel, according to Thailand’s foreign ministry.

    The former hostages will be accompanied by Thai foreign minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, who flew to Israel to meet with them earlier this week. Ten of the group were released last Friday, as a truce began following weeks of negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the United States. Seven more were set free by Hamas in the days that followed.

    - AFP

  • November 29, 2023 11:42
    Israeli military reinforcements break into Jenin, north of the occupied West Bank
  • November 29, 2023 10:43
    U.S. supports extension in Israel-Hamas conflict pause

    The United States supports further extension in the operational pause between Israel and Hamas to secure the release of all the hostages in captivity, the White House said on Tuesday.

    “We want to see all the hostages released. And so, if there can be extended pauses beyond these two-day extensions...we’re in favour of that. And we’re going to keep working on this, as I said, hour by hour with all our partners in the region,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said.

    - ANI

  • November 29, 2023 09:31
    A new group of 12 hostages was freed from Gaza, with 30 Palestinians released by Israel overnight
  • November 29, 2023 08:50
    Israel’s plan for more settlements ‘appalling’, says European Union diplomat Borrell

    The European Union’s (EU) top diplomat Josep Borrell has called the idea of Israel planning further illegal settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territories “appalling” and Israel’s biggest security liability. He also called for an extension of the four day ceasefiredue to expire after Monday (November 27). 

    Read more here
  • November 29, 2023 07:40
    12 more Gaza hostages freed as mediators seek lasting truce

    After a 48-hour extension of an initial four-day truce, a new group of 12 hostages was freed from Gaza on Tuesday, with 30 Palestinians released by Israel.

    The final 24 hours of the extended agreement begins later Wednesday, with one more exchange of hostages for prisoners expected, but mediator Qatar said it was hoping for a more durable arrangement.

    - AFP

  • November 29, 2023 07:20
    Israel will restart bombing Gaza once hostage release, ceasefire end, says envoy

    Israel will restart its bombing of Gaza, moving from North to South Gaza as soon as the release of hostages ends, Israeli diplomats said here, but gave no details as to where they would move more than two million Palestinians now taking shelter in South Gaza. Briefing the media about IDF operations thus far, a security official, who asked not to be named, claimed that “100%” of Hamas posts overground in Northern Gaza have been “cleared” as Israel launched airstrikes followed by a ground invasion over the past month. 

    Read more here

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