An Israeli soldier sits on top of a tank and looks at a cell phone during the ceasefire
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov / dpa
Negotiations on a further extension of the ceasefire in the Gaza war, which ends on Thursday morning, continue. The U.S. said it would continue to work with Israel, Qatar and Egypt to see if the pauses could be extended further.
The Gulf emirate of Qatar, Egypt and the United States are mediating in the talks on the ceasefire. On Tuesday, CIA Director William Burns and the head of Israel's foreign intelligence service Mossad, David Barnea, arrived in Doha to talk to Qatari Prime Minister Abdulrahman Al Thani about extending the pause, according to information from the German Press Agency.
The G7 countries called for an extension of the ceasefire. "If there are longer breaks beyond those two days, then you know we're in favor of it, and we're going to continue to work on it," said U.S. National Security Council communications director John Kirby. The U.S. government wants all hostages to be released. The G7 foreign ministers of the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Great Britain and Canada called for the same.
Washington hopes that more hostages with U.S. citizenship will be released, Kirby said. So far, a four-year-old American girl who witnessed the murder of her parents in the Hamas massacre has been among those released. The government believes that two more women with U.S. citizenship are still being held. Another seven with U.S. passports are missing — it's not clear if they're among the hostages.
Israel Receives Another Hostage List for Release
As in previous days, Hamas sent another list of hostages to be released on Wednesday, according to media reports. The Times of Israel, citing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, reported that the affected families of the hostages had been notified, but did not give an exact number. It would be the sixth group of hostages to be released from the hands of the Islamists during the pause in the fighting.
On Tuesday evening, the Islamists released ten Israelis and two foreigners, including a woman with German citizenship. She was the eleventh German-Israeli citizen to be released. During the pause in the fighting, which has been in force since Friday, a total of 81 hostages were released. Of these, 61 are Israelis, some of whom have other citizenships, and 20 are foreigners. In return, Israel has so far released 180 Palestinian prisoners from its prisons.
Netanyahu insists on military destruction of Hamas
Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu reaffirmed the goal of the military destruction of Hamas, despite the ongoing ceasefire. He did not say how long the ceasefire could last. "We have agreed that the women and children and the foreign hostages will be released first. After that happens, we will continue the fighting," Netanyahu told Welt TV in an interview published on Tuesday.
Hamas has committed the worst murders and will do so again, the conservative leader said. "We have no choice but to destroy Hamas," he said. At the same time, Israel will continue to do everything in its power to spare civilians in the Gaza Strip as much as possible. However, according to Hamas, almost 15,000 people have already been killed and around 36,000 injured. The information cannot be independently verified.