Regional tensions continue to flare as mediators announce an eleventh-hour agreement to extend the pause in fighting by one day.
Rina Bassist, Ezgi Akin, Beatrice Farhat, Elizabeth Hagedorn, Adam Lucente, Jack Dutton, Jared Szuba and Al-Monitor’s contributors on the ground in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel contributed to this blog.
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Live updates (all times EDT):
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023
4:07 pm: Hamas hands over six Israeli hostages to Red Cross
The Red Cross received six Israelis from Hamas who had been held in Gaza, Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari confirmed, noting that the freed hostages are now being transported to Egypt's Rafah crossing. Two other Israeli women were freed earlier in the day.
Thirty Palestinian prisoners, including 22 teenagers, are expected to be released by Israel tonight, AP reports.
10:30 am: Israel recalls ambassador to Spain
Israel recalled its ambassador to Spain for consultations after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he has “serious doubt” that Israel is complying with international humanitarian law during its campaign in Gaza, Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said in a post on X.
“Israel is acting and will continue to act in accordance with international law and we will continue with the war until the release of the hostages and elimination of Hamas in Gaza,” Cohen said. Earlier in the day, the Israeli Foreign Ministry had summoned the Spanish ambassador for a reprimand.
10:20 am: Two Israeli hostages reach Israel, more to be released
Two Israeli hostages held in Gaza — 21-year-old Israeli-French national Mia Shem and 40-year-old Amit Sosna — were handed over to the Red Cross Thursday and have reached Israeli territory, Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari posted on X.
Earlier reports claimed that eight more Israelis will be freed today, including two who hold Russian citizenship. Israel is set to free 30 Palestinian prisoners today in exchange, including some who hold Israeli citizenship.
7:00 am: Hamas to release 10 Israelis during 1-day truce extension, source says
A Hamas source told AFP that 10 Israeli hostages will be released from the Gaza Strip on Thursday as part of the one-day truce extension. The source said two of those set to be released also hold Russian citizenship. Hamas and Israel agreed to a last-minute extension of the temporary truce, during which 102 Israeli hostages and 210 Palestinian prisoners have been freed.
6:08 am: Egypt says negotiations ongoing for 2-day truce extension
Egyptian and Qatari mediators are currently discussing the possibility of extending the current truce by an additional two days, according to Egypt’s State Information Service. Its head Diaa Rashwan said the mediators are hoping to see the release of more prisoners and hostages, reach a long-term cease-fire and allow more aid into Gaza. “Egypt will continue to exert its utmost efforts to ensure the continued flow of humanitarian aid to the north and south of the Gaza Strip,” he added. The talks follow a last-minute one-day extension of the temporary truce in Gaza.
6:00 am: Blinken meets with Netanyahu, Israeli war cabinet
Secretary of State Antony Blinken met privately with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem before meeting with the Israeli war cabinet and later on Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Blinken is on his fourth visit to Israel since Oct. 7 as the Biden administration works to prolong the cease-fire, secure the release of more hostages and further boost humanitarian assistance to Gaza.
4:37 am: UNIFIL says Israel responds to cross-border fire from Lebanon
Israeli forces have responded to cross-border fire from southern Lebanon, the UN peacekeeping mission told Reuters. Earlier, the Israeli army said it had downed a drone launched from Lebanon toward northern Israel. Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel have been engaged in intense cross-border fire since the Hamas-Israel war erupted. The exchange of fire has almost ceased after a temporary truce began in Gaza last Friday, with only sporadic incidents.
1:00 am: Three Israelis killed, six injured in shooting attack in Jerusalem
Three Israelis — a 73-year-old man, a 24-year-old woman and a third unidentified person — died after being shot by two Palestinians at a bus station in Jerusalem. Six other people were injured. Jerusalem's police commander said the two assailants, both residents of east Jerusalem, were killed at the scene. US Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew posted on X, "Abhorrent terrorist attack in Jerusalem this morning. We unequivocally condemn such brutal violence. My thoughts are with the families of the victims and I offer my sincere condolences to all those affected."
12:02 am: Israel, Hamas agree to one-day extension
The Qatari Foreign Ministry announced early Thursday that Israel and Hamas had agreed to a one-day extension to the pause in fighting in Gaza, just minutes before the truce was set to end. The extension will follow the terms of the previous agreement, whereby Hamas releases 10 Israeli hostages in exchange for 30 Palestinians held in Israeli jails.
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