Africa-Press – Mauritius. Israel receives list of hostages to be released later on Wednesday ■ 30 Palestinian prisoners released in fifth phase of deal ■ Aunt of 12-year-old freed hostage: He was forced to watch footage of October 7 atrocities in captivity ■ G7 urges longer pause in Gaza fighting, calls out Iranian-backed Houthis ■ Israel and Hamas agree to extend cease-fire for two additional days in exchange for 20 hostages ■ At least 1,200 civilians and soldiers killed in Israel since October 7; over 150 hostages still held in Gaza ■ Hamas-controlled health ministry: 14,854 dead in Gaza
A strange dialogue is taking place between Israel and Hamas. Every day, if not every hour, messages are exchanged between Jerusalem and the Gaza tunnels about the release of the Israeli hostages, their age, and their gender and how they will be brought back home, and about which Palestinian security prisoners will be released from prison in Israel.
Even if the communication is routed through mediators like Qatar, Egypt and the United States, there is no difference between these talks and earlier dialogues that Israel and Hamas engaged in over prisoner releases, cease-fires and reconstructing Gaza.
But, in contrast to previous negotiations, this time Israel is openly saying that when the talks are over, it plans to eliminate its interlocutor – to deny it the means to rule over Gaza and to kill its leaders.
Yossi Schneider, the cousin of Shiri Bibas, who was taken hostage with her husband Yarden and two young children Ariel and Kfir, said on Channel 12 News the family is not included on the list of hostages set to be released later on Wednesday.
“Hundreds of people contact me every day to ask me if they are on the list. As of five minutes ago, they weren’t on today’s list either,” Schneider said.
He added that the family did not know that Hamas had handed over the four to other terrorist organizations until the IDF announced it. “If we had known, maybe it would have made it easier for us and saves us a lot of heartache as we waited every day for the list.
” An explosion occurred in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank following IDF operations in the area.
Four injured Palestinians arrived at a hospital in the city in a moderate to serious condition, according to the Razi Hospital director, Tair Abu Bakr.
An Israeli military source said that there was an exchange of fire between Israeli forces and armed terrorists, who threw explosives. An Israeli aircraft also reportedly attacked an armed terrorist squad, and that forces made arrests on the spot.
After the cease-fire, the fighting will resume, it appears. Even though the pause has been extended another 48 hours, until Thursday morning, in an attempt to free more hostages through negotiations with Hamas, the time left isn’t unlimited. In Israel, a debate has gotten underway in view of the display of control Hamas has demonstrated in the hostage release.
The organization made sure to dispatch dozens of armed fighters, even in northern Gaza, to show the world that the IDF operation had not defeated it.
In reality, it was a one-off operation by a Potemkin force. The cease-fire has given Hamas some breathing room and time to reorganize, but the organization has lost civilian control of the north and maintains only a limited military presence there. The two poles in the debate – the elimination of Hamas versus continued Hamas control – don’t represent the true situation.