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More hostages released on sixth day of truce between Israel and Hamas: live updates

3:06 PM ET, November 29, 2023

Analysis: Israel and Hamas have a lot to gain from extending the truce. But fighting is likely to resume anyway

Analysis by CNN’s Nadine Ibrahim

Both Israel and Hamas may have a lot to gain from extending the current truce. But experts say the eventual resumption of the Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip is inevitable.

The cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas – which saw the armed group release hostages it had kidnapped on October 7 in exchange for the release of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons – has now come into effect. The sixth and perhaps the last day. After the negotiators We are working on another extension, Which could lead to the release of more hostages and prolong the pause in the Israeli military campaign in Gaza.

For Israel, the extension means the return of dozens more hostages, which is especially important for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is under intense pressure from the Israeli public to return the hostages to their homeland. For Hamas, it provides a respite from the fighting, an opportunity to regroup and take advantage of the aid that is gradually making its way into the besieged territories.

During the first five days of the truce Hamas released 81 hostages, primarily women and children. Nearly 240 hostages were kidnapped during the Hamas attack on Israel.

Israel has released 180 Palestinian women and minors from prisons, many of whom are detained and never charged.

“The main interest (for the Israelis) is to return these hostages to their homeland,” Gershon Baskin, a former Israeli hostage negotiator who once served as a conduit for Hamas, told CNN. “The whole country is glued in front of the TV watching them being loaded into Red Cross cars and then landing in Israel.”

For Hamas, Baskin said, there is no need to hold civilians hostage. “It’s a burden on their logistics,” he said, adding that they likely just want to keep Israeli forces hostage. Israel did not say how many of its soldiers are being held by the armed movement, but Baskin said there are few expectations that Hamas will release them as part of the current deal.

As the truce is extended, Hamas may also hope that international pressure will build on Israel to avoid a resumption of war, Baskin said, while noting that Israeli society overwhelmingly supports a conflict that eliminates Hamas once and for all.

An opinion poll conducted by the public in Israel earlier this month Show the Israel Democracy Institute The majority of respondents believe that “Israel should immediately negotiate with Hamas regarding the release of hostages in Gaza, but it should not stop the fighting.”

Some ministers in the far-right government in Israel are making greater efforts to ensure the resumption of fighting. Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir on TuesdayHe threatened to dismantle the ruling coalition If the war ends.

But negotiations are likely to be complex Reports that Hamas is not in possession of it Of all the hostages. A diplomatic source familiar with the negotiations told CNN on Monday that more than 40 hostages are not currently being held by Hamas, and CNN previously reported that an estimated 40 to 50 hostages are being held by Palestinian Islamic Jihad or other groups or individuals.

Israel It is believed that 159 hostages remain in GazaNetanyahu’s office told CNN on Wednesday.

Baskin said it was highly unlikely that after seven weeks, Hamas would not be able to locate the rest of the hostages, adding that the movement would likely spread this news to derail negotiations.

“It is a delaying tactic by Hamas,” he said, adding that the group is too powerful and too central in the Strip to overlook the hostages.

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