The Hamas terrorist organization has formally notified the mediators who brokered the initial “hudna” (temporary ceasefire) agreement that it wants to continue the process for an additional four days, the AFP news agency reported Wednesday morning.
If Israel agrees, the extension will continue until the end of the 10-day maximum “pause” period that was agreed upon in the deal brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the United States.
However, any further extension, must be approved — or rejected — in a vote by Israel’s full government cabinet.
Discussions Focus on Five Groups of Remaining Israeli Hostages
According to sources quoted in a report in the Washington Post, discussions taking place in Doha around the issue of an additional extension are focused on the release of five groups of Israeli hostages:
1. Adult males over the age of IDF reserve duty
2. Female IDF soldiers
3. Israeli men in IDF reserve duty
4. IDF soldiers in active (mandatory) service, and
5. Bodies of Israelis who died on 7/10 or in captivity — which would include the bodies of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin. Both fell in the line of duty during an ambush by Hamas terrorists that took place several hours after a ceasefire went into effect in the 2014 Gaza War known as Operation Tzuk Eitan. The terrorists then abducted the bodies of both.
There is no clarity about two Israeli men, both with serious mental health issues, who inadvertently crossed into Gaza territory. Avera Mengistu, an Ethiopian Israeli civilian, was abducted in Gaza and interrogated by Hamas, and has been missing since September 7, 2014. Hisham El-Sayyid is a Bedouin Israeli civilian who, like Mengistu, inadvertently crossed into Gaza and has been held hostage by Hamas since April 20, 2015.
The conditions and whereabouts of Avera Mengistu and Hisham El-Sayyid remain unknown.
Fifth Group of Israeli Hostages Released in ‘Complex but Stable’ Condition
On Tuesday night for the first time, Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists were involved in the release of Israeli hostages to representatives of the Red Cross, who then transported the freed captives through Egypt to the Israeli border, where they were met by members of the Israel Defense Forces and taken to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
A sixth group of Israeli hostages is expected to be released on Wednesday night. In exchange for each hostage, Israel releases three convicted Palestinian Authority terrorists from prison.
Eight of the 10 Israeli hostages who were released Tuesday night were in “complex but stable condition,” the hospital told reporters Wednesday morning.
Only one Israeli under age 19 was released in the fifth group: 17-year-old Mia Leimberg, who was freed with her 59-year-old mother Gabriela Leimberg and her little dog, Bella. Poor little Bella was also kidnapped by the terrorists who invaded southern Israel on October 7, Shabbat Simchat Torah, rampaging through dozens of border communities while slaughtering, raping, torturing, beheading and even burning alive hundreds of Israelis.
More than 240 Israelis, dual nationals and foreigner were abducted by the invading hordes, which included members of several other Gaza terrorist factions in addition to Hamas, and hundreds of Gaza civilians who followed their terrorist masters into Israeli territory and joined in the killing and looting spree.
Reports are emerging from released hostages about their experiences in Gaza that even young children were threatened, beaten and tortured by their Hamas captors. Video footage on social media also confirms the hostages were also threatened and beaten by so-called “innocent” Gaza civilians who were just as savage as their Hamas masters in greeting the arrival of the abductees.