Qatar announced Monday that Israel and Hamas agreed to extend the truce under the Hostage deal for another 48 hours.
“The State of Qatar announces, 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,” Majed al-Ansari, spokesman for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, wrote on X.
The four-day truce has held since Friday, and the two sides swapped another group of prisoners on Monday. The exchange on Monday included 11 Israeli hostages and 33 Palestinian prisoners.
The exchange fulfilled Hamas’ commitment to hand over 50 Israelis during the initial four-day truce and Israel’s to release 150 Palestinians. Hamas has also released 19 other hostages, including 17 Thai nationals, a Filipino, and a Russian dual citizen, as part of separate arrangements.
Qatar did not say what the terms of the two-day extension are, but Israel has said it would only extend the truce if Hamas releases 10 Israeli hostages each day. Israel is required to release more Palestinian prisoners during the extension.
Israel has made clear that its brutal military campaign in Gaza will continue once the truce is over. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told a group of soldiers on Monday that after the ceasefire, the fighting “will be bigger and take place throughout the Gaza Strip.”
“You will meet something that is a little more prepared, so they will meet the bombs of the air force first, and after that the shells of the tanks and artillery, and the paws of the D9 (armored bulldozer), and finally the shooting of the infantry fighters,” he said.