As the short truce between Israel and Hamas draws to a close, it is being reported that Hamas has begun to seek an additional four days of ceasefire, so as to ensure the release of more Palestinians prisoners in return for captive Israelis.
ARISE NEWS special correspondent, Karl Bostic, revealed this on NEWSDAY, where he also said that the United States have given orders that if the war is to continue, there must neither be any more displacement of people in Gaza, nor the obstruction of fuel and aid to civilian residences.
Speaking on the happenings during the ongoing truce, Bostic said, “Israel has now received another list of Israeli hostages to be released today, another list of 10 people. This will be the end of the two-day extension that ends tomorrow morning at 7.
“Already, there are still 155 hostages still in captivity in Gaza at least. Nine children are still in captivity. At least twenty to thirty women. So, today’s list will perhaps include more women and children.
“Up until now, the party has been releasing and gaining freedom of women and children, but now, it’s going to get much much more difficult.
He then indicated Hamas’ willingness to extend the truce, but with certain terms attached, as he explained, “Hamas has signalled a readiness to extend a truce or ceasefire for four more days, that will be the ten-day limit that Israel had set arbitrarily. But for those next four days, for Hamas to be signalling, they’re saying that they’re able to deliver more hostages, but now we’re looking at different categories of hostages beyond just the women and children.
“For example, there’s still, amongst the children, there’s still the youngest hostage, a 10-month old baby… and his four-year-old brother, who are still up in captivity and apparently they’re not on the list to be released today either.
“That’s causing a lot of anger amongst a lot of people. But the other categories are ranged from the elderly people, the men captives, female soldiers, the reserves, and then finally, regular soldiers.
“The problem is the stakes are being much much higher with Hamas saying that they want to do a comprehensive ‘megadeal.’ That’s why CIA Director, William Burns, the Head of Israel’s most sought spy agency, and even the Egyptian Intelligence Chief are all in Qatar talking about a possible megadeal that will lead to a long-term truce.
“But that megadeal will be swapping the remaining prisoners, especially soldiers, for all Palestinian prisoners. You’re talking anywhere from six to eight thousand prisoners all together.
“That’s something that Israel’s Prime Minister has refused to entertain, at least to say that there will be no deal beyond the 10th day, that they will resume the war, the war will continue.
“So, after the day, it remains to be seen just what kind of hostages will be released, and whether the truce can become more of a permanent truce.”
Bostic then addressed the atmosphere in Israel during the truce, saying, “Right now, the country is really on an emotional knife-edge because now, after 4 days of releases, they’re now seeing images, they’re hearing stories about what’s going on. There’s a lot of anger and anxiety amongst the families of the remaining hostages and supporters of the hostages.
“Today, there was a clash outside the Knesset in Jerusalem, where protesters clashed with the police and police tore down signs. In other words, they were lined for protests in support of the hostages, but now, it’s taking a political turn, because protesters were angry at Prime Minister Netanyahu’s hailing of this, overall beginning from the colossal intelligence failure.
“Protesters calling for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s impeachment even, those kinds of signs were being torn down.”
The analyst, speaking on international responses to Israel’s decision to continue with the war, said, “The White House has made it clear that if the war does resume, if the war does go on, there must be no more displacement of people. That’s a very tall order because already about a million people have been displaced in Southern Gaza.”
He also said that the White House, at the same time, is saying that “If you resume the war, you must not disrupt the flow of fuel and water to hospitals, schools or civilian infrastructures.”