Hamas is willing to further extend a truce for hostage and prisoner exchanges, a source close to the militant group said Thursday, and the United States urged Israel to set up safe zones for Gaza civilians as a pause in their deadly war neared expiry.
International pressure has risen for a lasting halt to the war, sparked by deadly Hamas attacks on Israel that prompted it to mount a devastating assault on the Gaza Strip.Click here for December 1, 2023 updates on Israel Hamas truce deal
As the latest group of Israeli hostages was released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, a source close to the Islamist militant group said it was willing to extend the truce that has paused weeks of deadly fighting and enabled aid to reach Gaza civilians. Israel had yet to respond.
With the current truce nearing expiry early Friday following a seven-day pause, U.S, Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged an extension after meeting with leaders in Israel and the occupied West Bank.
Earlier on Wednesday, Israel and Hamas agreed to extend a temporary truce by another day minutes before it was set to expire, said Qatar, which has been mediating between the two sides. The truce was set to expire Thursday morning.?
(With agency inputs)Follow for all Live updates