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Wednesday, February 28, 2024  
17 Shaban 1445  

No Gaza hostage release pause in fighting before Friday, Israel says

'Negotiations on the release of our hostages are advancing and continuing constantly,' says Israeli official
Israeli tanks operate, amid the ongoing ground operation of the Israeli army against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in the northern Gaza Strip, November 22, 2023. Reuters
Israeli tanks operate, amid the ongoing ground operation of the Israeli army against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in the northern Gaza Strip, November 22, 2023. Reuters

The release of hostages under a temporary truce between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants will not happen before Friday, Israel’s national security adviser said, thwarting hopes of relatives that some would be freed on Thursday.

The starting time of the truce and release of hostages captured by Hamas during its Oct. 7 attack on Israel had yet to be officially announced. An Egyptian security source said mediators sought a start time of 10 a.m. on Thursday.

Israel and Hamas agreed early on Wednesday to a ceasefire in Gaza for at least four days, to let in humanitarian aid and free at least 50 hostages held by militants in the enclave in exchange for at least 150 Palestinians jailed in Israel.

Here are the latest updates

  • More than 14,500 people killed in Gaza since October 7. In Israel, the official death toll from Hamas’s attacks stands at about 1,200.
  • Israel continues deadly air attacks and heavy shelling across Palestinian enclave as it remains unclear when an expected, four-day pause in fighting will begin.
  • Israeli PM Netanyahu renews warning that war will continue, promising to bring all Israeli captives home.
  • UN humanitarian chief expresses hope that truce will turn into a lasting ceasefire in Gaza.
  • US President Joe Biden spoke with the leaders of Egypt, Israel and Qatar Wednesday, the White House has said — his first publicly announced talks with them since a hostage deal was announced between Israel and Hamas, AFP reports.
  • ‘Under no circumstances’ will US permit forced relocation of Palestinians or redrawing of Gaza borders: Biden -Former US diplomat Stuart Seldowitz has been arrested and is facing multiple charges after a video of him harassing a halal cart vendor in New York went viral.

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