Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, emphasized on Thursday that the extension of the humanitarian truce in Gaza hinges on the release of 10 "living" hostages by the Hamas militant group each day.
Regev's statement followed confirmations from Israel and Hamas regarding the extension of the ceasefire for the seventh day on Thursday as discussions continued for the release of additional hostages.
The announcement regarding the extension arrived moments before the scheduled expiration of the truce at 7 a.m. local time.
This Thursday extension marks the second phase of the initial four-day truce that commenced on November 24, further prolonged for two additional days on Tuesday.
Regev conveyed Israel's stance to CNN, stating, “Our position regarding any extension of the humanitarian pause is crystal clear. Every day, we agreed to an extension for the release of 10 hostages, 10 living hostages... If Hamas continues to release hostages, 10 a day, we will extend the hold — the pause."
When asked about the possibility of resuming hostilities within the next 24 hours, Regev highlighted, “If Hamas fails to meet the conditions of the extension, which is to release 10 Israelis, then of course the fighting can be resumed.”
As per the senior advisor, approximately 140 hostages remain inside Gaza.
Regev affirmed that Israel accepted the existing agreement of a humanitarian pause “to get our hostages out, that could be extended each day for a day."
Regarding negotiations for potential further agreements, Regev mentioned, “This is a humanitarian pause in our fight against Hamas; Israel is determined to destroy Hamas' military machine and its rule over Gaza. We are not going to play games with the lives of our people... Hamas knows what the parameters of the deal are.”
Simultaneously, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office confirmed receipt of a new list of hostages to be released from Hamas captivity on Thursday.
“A short while ago, Israel received a list of women and children, in accordance with the terms of the agreement, and therefore the pause will resume,” stated the Office.
Reportedly, since the commencement of the ceasefire, 210 Palestinians, 70 Israelis, and 24 foreign nationals have been released.
Wednesday, the sixth day of the truce, witnessed the release of an additional 16 hostages from Gaza, comprising 10 Israelis, four Thai nationals, and two Israeli-Russians. Furthermore, 30 Palestinians were freed from Israeli jails on the same day.
(With Agency Inputs)