JERUSALEM: The Israel-Hamas truce has entered its final day after the Palestinian group freed 17 more people and Israel released 39 teenage Palestinian prisoners on Sunday – taking the total to 117 since the truce commenced. Hamas has shown the desire for an extension in the pause, which would enter the final agreed day on Monday.
On Sunday, Hamas briefed that they had handed over 13 Israelis, three Thais and one with Russian citizenship. Their successful transfer was confirmed by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
US President Joe Biden has hoped that the temporary Israel-Hamas truce would continue till the release of hostages. The released Israeli prisoners include a 4-year-old Israeli-American girl, Abigail Edan. Biden made the claim that Abigail Edan witnessed the killing of her parents during the Oct. 7 rampage by Hamas into Israel. Biden, during a news conference, stated:
“What she endured is unthinkable,” he said in his statement.
Channel 13 of Israel reported that Abigail was admitted to the hospital for medical checks. Carmel Edan, her grandfather, thanked Biden for the help and said he could not believe her granddaughter returned home.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also welcomed the notion of extending the temporary truce if ten captives would be freed on every additional day. However, he has expressed to continue bombardment till Israel achieves its goals:
“We will return with full force to achieve our goals till elimination of Hamas”, he stated. “Ensuring that Gaza does not return to what it was, and the release of all our hostages,” he continued the statement.
The freed Palestinian prisoners received a warm reception in Ramallah. One of the prisoners, Omar Abdullah Al-Hajj (17 years old), said that he was kept in the dark about the outside world and the overall situation unfolding.