Israel releases 30 more Palestinian prisoners as Gaza truce set to expire today

Jerusalem, Dec 1 (IANS): The Israeli prison service has confirmed that 30 more Palestinians have been released as part of the ongoing humanitarian truce which is set to expire on Friday after it was extended for 24 hours the previous day.

The namesof the freed Palestinians have however, been witheld, the BBC reported

There was also no immediate confirmation of the prisoners' release by the Hamas or the militant group's affiliated media.

Under the terms of the Israel-Hamas truce, Israel has to free three Palestinians for every Israeli hostage freed.

After a tense and lengthy back-and-forth on extending the truce into a seventh day, the Israeli government eventually accepted a proposal for Hamas to release eight new Israeli hostages on Thursday.

Israel agreed to count two Israeli-Russian hostages who were set free on Wednesday as part of Thursday’s release, informed sources told CNN.

In a statement, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "The Government of Israel embraces our six citizens who have just returned to Israeli territory. Their families have been updated by the responsible authorities that they have returned to the country.

"The Government of Israel is committed to the return of all of the hostages and missing."

Meanwhile, Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari also reiterated the terms of the truce extension on Thursday, stating Israel would release 30 Palestinians in Israeli prisons in exchange for the release of 10 hostages in Gaza — with the two Israeli-Russian nationals released on Wednesday counted on the list as part of the hostage deal.

Meanwhile, the truce, which was only renewed at the last minute for the seventh day, is set to expire again at around 7 a.m. local time (about 10.30 a.m. IST) on Friday.

The military wing of Hamas is calling for its forces to remain on “high combat readiness” in case the ceasefire isn't extended.

Thursday's extension was the second of the initial four-day truce that commenced on Novermber 24.

It was extended for two more days on Tuesday.

Since the start of the pause, 240 Palestinians, 86 Israelis, and 24 foreign nationals have reportedly been released.




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Title: Israel releases 30 more Palestinian prisoners as Gaza truce set to expire today

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