Israel-Hamas war updates: Gaza truce enters fifth day; UN chief calls for further talks toward cease-fire


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The U.N. Relief Works Agency for Palestine and the Palestinian Red Crescent on Monday delivered clean water to civilians sheltering in the north of the Gaza Strip, which has been starkly deprived of resources and bombarded since the start of the war.

The two agencies brought in “ready-to-eat food, tents, water & urgent medical supplies,” UNRWA said, adding, “This was the first delivery of clean water that reached people sheltering in the north since the war began.”

Clean water has been a prized commodity throughout the conflict, with supplies sharply dwindling after local desalination units went offline amid fuel and electricity shortages.

Ruxandra Iordache

Israeli Army spokesperson for international media, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus.

Jalaa Marey | Afp | Getty Images

There is a “limit” to how much further the truce between Israel and Hamas can be prolonged, an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said.

“Hamas are primed to play for time, using hostages in order to get a respite from fighting. That’s the formula,” Jonathan Conricus said in a CNN TV interview, speaking ahead of the now-announced two-day extension of the humanitarian pause and hostage release agreement.

“There’s also a limit for this to happen, in the future, we’re not there yet. But we do understand what game Hamas is playing, they’re doing psychological warfare, and they’re trying to buy more time for themselves, not for humanitarian needs in Gaza, but only for their military needs, and maybe to live to see another day,” he stressed.

An initial four-day truce was implemented on Friday and was stretched for another two days on Monday. The extension raises hopes that Palestinian militant group Hamas will release more than the 69 hostages it has so far returned out of the nearly 240 captives it has held in the Gaza Strip since their abduction during the terror attacks of Oct. 7.

Israel has previously said it would consider lengthening the humanitarian pause in fighting by one day for every 10 freed hostages, although it was unclear if these were the terms agreed in the latest extension.

Ruxandra Iordache

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a press conference, during his visit to Israel, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel November 3, 2023.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken will return this week to the Middle East for the third time since Israel’s war with Hamas began, a senior State Department official said Monday.

Blinken will travel to Israel and the West Bank after attending Ukraine-focused meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday in Brussels and Skopje, Macedonia, where foreign ministers from NATO and the Organization for Peace and Security in Europe are gathering, the official said. The official spoke to reporters traveling with Blinken on condition of anonymity ahead a formal State Department announcement.

Associated Press

33 Palestinians, including 3 children and 30 women, released from Israeli jail arrive in Beitunia, Ramallah, West Bank by a bus belonging to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on November 28, 2023.

Anadolu | Anadolu | Getty Images

A Red Cross bus carrying Palestinian prisoners released by Israel arrived in the West Bank city of Ramallah early Tuesday.

Israel’s prison service said it was releasing 33 Palestinian prisoners in the fourth such release as part of the cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas.

The prisoners were greeted by cheering crowds who surrounded the bus as it made its way through the streets of the West Bank city.

So far, 150 Palestinians have been released from Israeli prisons.

Associated Press

United Nations employees look on as trucks transporting humanitarian aid enter the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing with Egypt, hours after the start of a four-day truce in battles between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants, on November 24, 2023. 

Said Khatib | AFP | Getty Images

Around 200 container trucks brought humanitarian aid into Gaza on Monday after being inspected by Israel, including a small amount of fuel, according to the Israeli military body that handles civilian affairs.

“Four containers carrying diesel fuel and four containers carrying cooking gas were transferred from Egypt to U.N. humanitarian aid organizations in the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing,” COGAT said in a statement.

The aid trucks brought “food, water, shelter equipment, and medical supplies,” the statement said.

Associated Press

The IDF said the 11 hostages released by Hamas today are now with IDF forces and in Israel’s territory.

“After they undergo an initial medical assessment of their health, our forces will accompany them until they are reunited with their families,” the IDF said in a statement.

A spokesperson from kibbutz Nir Oz confirmed that all 11 hostages were from their community, which was attacked by Hamas on Oct. 7. The spokesperson noted that 49 community members remain in captivity in Gaza.

The Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum has released the names and ages of the 11 hostages released by Hamas today. They are:

Sharon Aloni Cunio, 34

Emma Aloni Cunio, 3

Julie Aloni Cunio, 3

Or Yaakov, 16

Yagil Yaakov, 12

Sahar Kalderon, 16

Erez Kalderon, 12

Karina Engel-Bart, 52

Mika Engel, 18

Yuval Engel, 11

Eitan Yahalomi, 12

NBC News





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