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[Published: Saturday December 02 2023]

 Israel-Hamas: what next for the war after hostage truce?

LONDON, 02 Dec. - (ANA) - Israel and Hamas agreed to extend their ceasefire in the Gaza Strip for a further 24 hours after intense negotiations.
The agreement keeps alive "tenuous hopes for a lasting halt to the fighting", said The New York Times. Officials with knowledge of the talks told the paper they hoped that the succession of short-term pauses "would pave the way toward a larger goal: negotiations over a longer-term cease-fire to bring the war to a close".
The lull in hostilities enabled an increase in deliveries of food, water, medicine and fuel into Gaza, which has faced weeks of siege and bombardment since Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October, taking some 240 hostages. But aid groups said that these deliveries – carried in on about 200 lorries a day – were insufficient to meet the critical humanitarian needs of Gaza's 2.3-million-strong population.
The sight of children reunited with their families after seven weeks of hell is joyous, said The Wall Street Journal. But these scenes shouldn't blind us to Hamas's cynical tactics. The group is "manipulating human sentiment" to buy itself time and to widen the split in Israel between those who want to prioritise the release of hostages and those focused on military aims. Welcome as they are, the releases have given Hamas an undeserved image boost, said The Times. They'll also "make hostage-taking an ever more tempting option in future terrorist attacks".   - (ANA) -
AB/ANA/02 December 2023 — - -

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