Qatari Officials Make Historic Visit to Israel as Hamas Seeks Extension of Gaza Truce

The Gaza war pause was extended by Hamas

Hamas sought to extend the four-day pause in the Gaza war Sunday night, after it had completed 80% of a hostage deal that went into effect Friday. They had released 40 Israelis, one Filipino and 17 Thai citizens over the last three days.

Israel welcomed 14 of those Israelis and three Thai citizens on Sunday, including Avigail Idan (4) who also holds American citizenship. Her parents were killed in front of her in Kfar Aza during the group’s attack on Southern Israel on October 7.

“We are moved to the depth of our souls,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. IDF Spokesperson R.-Adm. Daniel Hagari told reporters that the IDF is prepared to resume the military campaign against Hamas, as he spoke of the war sparked by the October 7 attack.

The next phase of the war

Plans for the next phase of the war have already been approved, Hagari said, adding that “as long as we can free hostages from Hamas captivity, we will do it.”

Qatar sent an intelligence delegation to Israel on Saturday to discuss extending the deal and Mossad officials hosted their Qatari counterparts. Cooperation between the two countries’ security agencies is “traditionally close”.

The war cabinet met on Sunday night to debate the possibility of extending the pause. US President Joe Biden told reporters that he would work to make that happen.

Reuters contributed to this report