Gaza truce extended for two more days

ISLAMABAD: Qatar’s foreign ministry said on Monday the truce in Gaza has been extended for two more days.

“An agreement has been reached to extend the humanitarian truce for an additional two days in the Gaza Strip,” a foreign ministry spokesperson said in post on social media platform X.

The Qatari foreign ministry says the planes were headed to the Egyptian city of El-Arish, from where the assistance would be transferred to Gaza.

The planes are carrying 156 tonnes of aid, including food, medical items and shelter supplies.

This brings the total number of planes to 26, with a total of 879 tonnes of assistance, the ministry said.

Hamas confirms agreement with Qatar, Egypt on two-day extension of truce

Palestinian resistance group Hamas on Monday said that it has agreed with Qatar and Egypt to a two-day extension in truce.

UN chief pushes for Gaza truce to become full humanitarian ceasefire

United Nations Secretry-General Antonio Guterres pushed on Monday for a full humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas instead of a temporary truce, as the “humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is getting worse by the day.”

“The dialogue that led to the agreement must continue, resulting in a full humanitarian ceasefire, for the benefit of the people of Gaza, Israel and the wider region,” Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

“The United Nations will continue to support these efforts in every possible way,” he said.

Guterres again called for the hostages held by Hamas to be released immediately and unconditionally, Dujarric said.

The United Nations has scaled up the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza over the past four days during the truce and sent aid to some northern areas of the coastal enclave that had been largely cut off for weeks, Dujarric said.

“But this aid barely registers against the huge needs of 1.7 million displaced people. The humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is getting worse by the day,” he said.

Israeli PMO updates families of hostages slated to be released today 

The Israeli prime minister’s office has notified the families of the Israeli hostages set to be released by Hamas on Monday as per the truce deal.

The prime minister’s office said it would provide more information as needed.

 

Elon Musk in talks with Israel over giving SpaceX’s Starlink access to Gaza 

Israel hosted X and Starlink owner Elon Musk, announcing a preliminary agreement for utilising SpaceX’s Starlink communications in the Gaza Strip.

The visit coincided with a temporary halt in the conflict with Hamas. While Musk’s office has yet to comment on the trip, Israeli President Isaac Herzog has scheduled a meeting with him to discuss various matters, including combating online antisemitism.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also set to engage with Musk, focusing on the security aspects of artificial intelligence.

This visit follows their meeting in California in September, where Netanyahu urged Musk to balance free expression and combat hate speech.

After Israeli offensive, harsh weather add to woes of Palestinians 

Some 2.2 million residents of Gaza who have been subjected to devastating Israeli bombing since October 7, are now facing harsh weather conditions which have further exacerbated the dire humanitarian situation in the territory.

Since last night, the weather in Gaza has rather been harsh with windy, rainy conditions and dust in the air.

Tens of thousands of Gazans, who have been displaced by the conflict which erupted on October 7, are living in tents and makeshift structures which are not sturdy enough to withstand the harsh weather conditions, BBC reported.

A large number of those displaced include children and have no choice but to sleep through cold nights as they neither have mattresses nor quilts to keep them warm due to the closure of shops and dire economic conditions.

Furthermore, their circumstances are unlikely to get any better as the aid coming into the beleaguered territory doesn’t include winter clothing.

Some Gazans have gone back to their damaged homes to look for old clothes to protect their children from the cold, while some are rummaging through the rubble to find old blankets or anything that can shield them from the harsh weather.

United Nations Secretry-General Antonio Guterres pushed on Monday for a full humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas instead of a temporary truce, as the “humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is getting worse by the day.”

“The dialogue that led to the agreement must continue, resulting in a full humanitarian ceasefire, for the benefit of the people of Gaza, Israel and the wider region,” Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

“The United Nations will continue to support these efforts in every possible way,” he said.

Guterres again called for the hostages held by Hamas to be released immediately and unconditionally, Dujarric said.

The United Nations has scaled up the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza over the past four days during the truce and sent aid to some northern areas of the coastal enclave that had been largely cut off for weeks, Dujarric said.

“But this aid barely registers against the huge needs of 1.7 million displaced people. The humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is getting worse by the day,” he said.

 

Negotiators close to agreeing extension of Gaza truce: Egyptian security sources

Egyptian, Qatari and US negotiators closed in on an extension of a four-day truce in Gaza that expires on Monday, Egyptian security sources said, amid rising international pressure to roll over a deal which has paused seven weeks of fighting.

 

Palestinian group Hamas is seeking a four-day extension while Israel wants day-by-day extensions, with negotiations continuing over which Palestinian prisoners would be freed, the sources said.

An Israeli official earlier reiterated Israel’s position that it would agree to an extra day of truce for each additional 10 hostages freed and to release three times the number of Palestinians each time. The number of additional days is capped at five, the official added.

A Palestinian official, familiar with the truce talks, said both Hamas and Israel had shown a positive attitude to requests to extend the pause in fighting, but added that “a final decision hasn’t yet been reached”

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