World

US hopes for extension as Gaza enters final day

US President Joe Biden expressed his desire for the temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas to continue as long as hostages are released. The Palestinian group recently freed 17 individuals, including a 4-year-old Israeli-American girl named Abigail Edan. President Biden shared that Abigail had tragically witnessed her parents being killed by Hamas fighters during an October 7 incursion into Israel and had been held captive since then.

Biden added that he hoped the ceasefire, currently in its fourth and final agreed day on Monday, could be prolonged. Hamas indicated a willingness to extend the pause in hostilities if substantial efforts were made to increase the number of Palestinian detainees released by Israel. Israel had already released 39 teenage Palestinian prisoners on Sunday, bringing the total released since the truce began to 117.

In a notable development, Hamas disclosed that it had handed over 13 Israelis, three Thais, and one individual with Russian citizenship. The International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed the successful transfer of these individuals from Gaza on Sunday. As the diplomatic efforts and negotiations continue, the situation remains delicate with the hope that the truce can be extended and more hostages released, contributing to a sustained period of peace.

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