Hamas delays release of hostages to Israel


An aid truck entering Gaza. Photo: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

Hamas says it is delaying the second handover of hostages to Israel because it violated the pause agreement reached between the two sides.

A senior Hamas official claimed Israel had stopped 97 aid trucks from reaching northern Gaza, and also flew drones over southern Gaza, according to BBC.

Israel denies breaking the terms of a Qatar-brokered agreement – which brought in a four-day halt in hostilities in exchange for the release of hostages in Gaza – and the release of Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

A group of up to 14 hostages was expected to be released later today.

The families of hostages released on Friday in the first handover have spoken of their relief and pain for those left behind

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Earlier, Egypt said it had received “positive signals from all parties” that the temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas could be extended “for one or two days” – it’s unclear whether that will now happen.

As part of the Qatar-brokered truce, Friday saw the release of 24 Israeli hostages and 39 Palestinians from Israeli prisons.

Hamas’s attacks on 7 October killed 1,200 people, with about 240 taken hostage

Since then, Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry says more than 14,500 people have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory campaign.

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