The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement says a six-day truce with Israel in the Gaza Strip has been extended for one more day.
“It was agreed to extend the truce for a seventh day, which is Thursday,” Hamas said in a statement on Thursday.
Israel’s military also announced that the Gaza ceasefire will continue “in light of the mediators’ efforts” to secure a prisoners swap.
Additionally, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the one-day extension of the truce, saying that it will include the same terms as the previous days.
Hamas’ military wing: Fighters on high alert if war resumes
Earlier in the day, Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, had said it had ordered its fighters to be ready for a resumption of combat with Israel if the truce in Gaza expired.
“The al-Qassam Brigades asks its active forces to maintain high combat readiness in the last hours of the truce,” the group said in a statement.
Fighters, it added, should “remain on such footing unless an official statement is issued confirming the extension of the truce.”
The statement came shortly before the expiry of the ceasefire at 7 a.m. local time (0500 GMT).
The initial truce took effect on Friday after weeks of bloody Israeli aggression against the besieged Gaza.
It allowed the delivery of some desperately needed aid to Gaza as well as a swap of captives held by Hamas and Palestinians incarcerated in Israeli jails.
A total of 97 captives, 73 Israelis and 24 foreign nationals, were released from Gaza in exchange for the freedom of 210 Palestinians for Israeli prisons.
Hamas announced that Israel had rejected its offer to receive seven captives and the bodies of three others killed during the regime’s strikes on Gaza in return for extending the Gaza truce.
“This is despite confirming through mediators that this group is all the (Hamas) movement has in terms of detainees in the agreed-upon category,” Hamas said in a statement.
Israel waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas conducted Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the usurping entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.
Since the start of the aggression, the Tel Aviv regime has killed over 15,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, injured 36,000 others and left vast swathes of Gaza in ruins.
An additional 7,000 Palestinians are missing and believed to be under the rubble in Gaza, home to more than two million people who are being subjected to a “complete siege” by Israel.