Israel-Hamas War: As the fighting truce enters its final 24 hours, mediators attempt to prolong the ceasefire agreement.

Hamas terrorists are hoping to extend a cease-fire for four more days and release more Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, as mediators call for a permanent halt to the conflict.

The current cease-fire agreement is scheduled to expire early Thursday, November 30, after a six-day pause in the conflict triggered by Hamas’ deadly attacks that prompted a devastating Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Sixty Israeli hostages and 180 Palestinian prisoners have already been released, and more are scheduled to be freed Wednesday.

A source close to Hamas, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, said Hamas informed mediators Wednesday of its intention to extend the ceasefire for four days.

Under that arrangement, “Israeli prisoners held by Hamas, other resistance movements and other parties would be able to be released during this period in accordance with the existing ceasefire conditions,” the source added.

Qatar Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed al-Ansari told a press conference in Doha on Tuesday that negotiators are seeking “further negotiations and a sustainable ceasefire that will ultimately lead to an end to this war.”

A source familiar with the talks added in comments to AFP on Wednesday that the talks are “focused on building on the progress of the agreement to extend the humanitarian pause and to start further talks on the next phase of a potential agreement

A new group of 12 hostages were released from Gaza on Tuesday and 30 Palestinians were freed by Israel after the initial four-day ceasefire was extended for 48 hours.

An AFP reporter witnessed armed fighters from Hamas and Islamic Jihad handing over the hostages to Red Cross officials in Rafah, near the border with Egypt.

The released Israeli hostages were all women, including 17-year-old Mia Leinberg, who returned to Israel with her mother and aunt.

The cease-fire agreement temporarily halted fighting that began on October 7 when Hamas crossed the border into Israel, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping about 240 others.

Israeli airstrikes and ground operations in Gaza have killed nearly 15,000 people, most of them civilians, according to Hamas officials.

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