In the Gaza war, following the release of dozens of hostages held by the terrorist organization Hamas, there are signs that the ceasefire, which is limited until Tuesday morning, will be extended. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled his willingness to do so. And Hamas says it is also seeking an extension in order to get more Palestinian prisoners from Israel in exchange for hostages.
Ten more hostages expected to be released
The release of ten more hostages is expected this Monday. Meanwhile, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is continuing his visit to Israel. After a visit to a kibbutz and a conversation with Netanyahu, he wants to visit a clinic in East Jerusalem where Palestinian patients who cannot now return to their relatives are treated.
Elon Musk in Israel
On the same day, tech billionaire Elon Musk meets Israel's President Izchak Herzog in Jerusalem. Representatives of the hostages' families were also present at the meeting, Herzog's office said. Herzog also wants to emphasize the need to “take action against increasing anti-Semitism on the Internet.” It was unclear whether Musk would also meet Prime Minister Netanyahu during his visit to Israel.
Hope for an extension of the ceasefire
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden hopes that the ceasefire, initially agreed for four days, will be extended "so that we can continue to free more hostages and provide more humanitarian aid to those in need in Gaza." To this end, Biden said he would continue to work with Qatar, Egypt and Israel. France's Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna made similar comments. It would be "good, helpful and necessary" to extend the ceasefire until all the hostages were free, Colonna told the broadcaster "BFM TV", as other French media reported.
Since Friday, 58 hostages have been released, including eight German dual citizens. In return, a group of 39 Palestinian prisoners were released from Israeli prisons on Sunday, as the Israeli prison authorities announced in the evening. According to Palestinian reports, there were 39 male youths under the age of 19. A total of 177 Palestinian prisoners have been released since Friday.
Hostage's life is in danger
According to media reports, a hostage released by Hamas on Sunday is in mortal danger. The 84-year-old woman was taken to a clinic in a life-threatening condition, Israeli media reported, citing the clinic in Beersheba. For the first time, a four-year-old girl, a hostage who has US citizenship, was released on Sunday.
Little girl survived under father's body
The fate of the little ones has moved many people ever since. On October 7, when Hamas terrorists carried out an unprecedented massacre of Israeli civilians, the girl watched as her mother was shot, US media reported. When her father placed himself protectively over his daughter, he was also shot. The girl's 10- and 6-year-old siblings survived because they hid in the closet before being rescued.
Her little sister, who was initially thought to be dead, crawled out from under her father's body and ran to a neighbor's house, the Washington Post quoted a relative of the girl as saying. The terrorists grabbed the girl there along with the five-member neighboring family and kidnapped them and many others to the Gaza Strip. Last Friday the girl turned four years old in captivity. Now she was released.
Hope for the release of more hostages
There is hope that even more hostages will now be released. The agreement provides for the possibility of extending the pause in fighting in return for the release of ten more hostages per day, Netanyahu said after a conversation with Biden. "That would be welcomed." At the same time, he told Biden that fighting would resume after the ceasefire. After the end of the agreement, Israel will “fulfill its war goals.”
The day before, Federal President Steinmeier had promised Israel Germany's unwavering support. "Our solidarity with Israel applies," he said in Jerusalem at a press conference with Israel's President Herzog. "It is not just with Israel as a victim of terror. Our solidarity also applies to Israel that is defending itself, that is fighting against an existential threat." Steinmeier said this in response to criticism of Israel's conduct of the war in Gaza, which has already cost thousands of civilian casualties. It is necessary to protect the civilians in Gaza and provide them with the essentials of life, said Steinmeier. “International humanitarian law requires this.”
HRW: Misfired rocket probably caused explosion at Gaza clinic
According to the human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), the explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in the Gaza Strip was probably caused by a misfired rocket. "The explosion that killed and injured scores of civilians at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza on October 17, 2023, appeared to have been caused by a rocket-propelled munition commonly used by Palestinian armed groups," HRW said on Sunday. Further investigations are needed to determine who fired the suspected missile and whether the laws of war were violated.
What is important today
Steinmeier wants to go to the Auguste Viktoria Hospital in East Jerusalem. Almost 100 Palestinian patients are being treated there. The Federal President wants to show that he also sees the suffering of the Palestinian population. Ten more hostages are expected to be released from the Gaza Strip on the same day. Meanwhile, tech billionaire Elon Musk meets Israel's President Herzog in Jerusalem. At the same time, negotiations are continuing to extend the ceasefire, which is limited until Tuesday morning.