Here is a summary of today’s events, from day 52 of the Hamas-Israel war and day four of the Hamas-Israel truce.
Today was the fourth and final day of the initial truce deal between Israel and Hamas, reached last Wednesday and brought into effect on Friday. However, in another feat of what is surely impressive mediation by Qatar and Egypt, the two warring sides agreed to extend the deal for another two days.
The process for tonight’s exchange is already underway, with the International Committee of the Red Cross confirming that the latest group of 11 freed hostages is en route to Israel, and Israel sharing the list of 33 detainees to be released in return. The hostages freed tonight include three French citizens, two German, and six Argentinian. The Palestinians to be freed tonight are three women and 30 minors. Assuming tonight’s exchange continues unhindered, over the last four days, Hamas will have handed over 50 hostages in exchange for Israel freeing 150 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.
According to Izzat Ashrak, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, the group is willing to negotiate for the release of Israeli soldiers still held hostage in Gaza, but clarified that these discussions have not started yet and that they would be negotiations of a different nature compared to those regarding civilian hostages.
The truce renewed
The terms of the renewed agreement are that Hamas will release 10 hostages tomorrow, followed by 10 more on Wednesday. Israel will release 60 Palestinian detainees over the next two days, although there hasn’t been a confirmation yet as to how many will be released each day. The conditions still stand regarding humanitarian aid entering the enclave and a cessation of fighting on both sides for the next two days.
Aid reaching north
Regarding aid, the Palestine Red Crescent Society announced that 40 trucks of aid managed to make it through the Israeli checkpoint that divides northern Gaza from the rest of the Strip. This is the same checkpoint at which PRCS ambulance teams were detained for five hours last week while trying to deliver wounded patients from the north to the south of the Strip.
Shortly after this announcement, came another from Gaza’s Health Ministry saying that the dialysis department at al-Shifa Hospital is functioning again. Al-Shifa, the largest hospital in the enclave, was besieged by the Israeli army on Nov. 11, then raided four days later. Several areas of the hospital compound were damaged including the oxygen station. The army withdrew from the hospital following the start of the truce on Friday. Now that the hospital has regained some capabilities, the ministry is calling on dialysis patients in northern Gaza to go to al-Shifa Hospital tomorrow in order to receive treatment.
The West Bank
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), released a report today stating that since Oct. 7, at least 215 Palestinians, including 55 children, have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank.