Gaza, Nov 30 (Ajit Weekly News) Hamas’s military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades has asked fighters of the militant group to be ready for combat if Israel does not agree to extend the ongoing humanitarian truce in Gaza which is set to expire on Thursday.
The original four-day truce in Gaza which was first implemented on November 24 and extended for two more days on Tuesday, will expire at 7 a.m. local time on Thursday, (at about 10.20 a.m. IST).
In a Telegram post, the Al-Qassam Brigades said its fighters should remain in the high-combat readiness position unless an official statement is issued confirming the extension of the truce.
In a separate statement, Hamas blamed Israel for an impasse in the ceasefire extension talks.
The Palestinian militant group said Israel had refused an offer to extend the truce in exchange for receiving seven detained women and children and the bodies of three deceased women or children who Hamas claim were killed by Israeli bombardment.
According to the Israeli military, it was assessing a Hamas claim that the youngest Israeli hostage, 10-month-old Kfir Bibas, his brother and his mother are no longer alive.
But on a positive note, Qatar — a key mediator in the ceasefire talks — is “very optimistic” an extension will be announced, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson in Doha told CNN late Wednesday night.
However, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff Herzi Halevi said the military is prepared for the next stage of the war in Gaza when the truce ends .
On Wednesday — the sixth day of the truce — 16 more hostages were released from Gaza, comprising 10 Israelis, four Thai nationals and two Israeli-Russians.
Also in the day, 30 Palestinians were also freed from Israeli jails.
Since the start of the pause, 210 Palestinians, 68 Israelis, and 20 foreign nationals have reportedly been released.
–Ajit Weekly News
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