• Wed. Dec 6th, 2023

Standoff in Gaza: No Breakthrough in Sight for Hostage Crisis


Nov 19, 2023

Hamas and the Israeli army clashed once again in northern Gaza, resulting in dozens of Palestinian deaths in the central part of the enclave. This suggests that a reported deal to release hostages in Gaza Strip has not yet been finalized. According to The Washington Post, a Qatari-brokered ceasefire agreement was reached between Israel and Hamas for a five-day truce in exchange for the release of at least 50 hostages, primarily women and children. However, Hamas is only willing to release 87 hostages.

Eyewitnesses reported intense fighting between Hamas militants and Israeli ground forces trying to enter the largest camp of Jabali. Most residents of the camp refused Israeli calls to evacuate south. Meanwhile, Israeli strikes killed 31 people, including two local journalists, in refugee camps in the central part of Gaza Strip. On October 7th, Palestinians Islamist movement took about 240 hostages from southern Israel. A five-day ceasefire would provide an opportunity for more humanitarian aid to reach Palestinians in Gaza.

Hamas is also demanding the import of more fuel into the coastal zone but details of the deal remain unclear. Reports suggest that there has been little contact with Yahya al-Sinwar, head of Hamas who is believed to be hiding underground since war began. So far, Hamas has released four hostages while Israeli military spokesman stated that number of hostages was 236 but it is unknown how many are alive. The United States continues to work towards reaching an agreement between the two sides but no deal has been confirmed at this time.

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