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Amid delay in release of hostages, Hamas accuses Israel of violating terms of deal

Sat, 25 Nov 2023   |  Reading Time: 3 minutes

Tel Aviv [Israel], November 25 (ANI): Amid the delay in the release of hostages, part of a high-stakes deal, a senior adviser to Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, abroad has accused Israel of violating the terms of the temporary ceasefire, claiming non-compliance with clauses related to humanitarian aid and the release of Palestinian prisoners, The Times of Israel reported.
According to Taher al-Nono, political advisor to Haniyeh, Israel did not adhere to the distribution of aid in the northern Gaza Strip, where the conflict has been most intense. He also alleges that the order of release for Palestinian prisoners deviated from the agreed-upon terms based on the length of imprisonment.

Israel, on the other hand, contends that it allowed 200 trucks into the Strip as required and that 50 of those trucks reached northern Gaza. An anonymous source familiar with negotiations stated that Hamas claims the release order was supposed to be based on imprisonment duration, a condition allegedly violated by Israel, Times of Israel reported.
Meanwhile, there are reports of air defense activity and explosions over Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat. Footage posted to social media shows two interceptor missiles flying over the area.
Tensions rise as Nono accused the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) of firing at Gazans attempting to return to northern Gaza, resulting in two Palestinian deaths. Israel asserts that a deal clause prohibited Palestinians from returning to the area where IDF operations continue.
Hamas, according to Nono, exceeded the deal’s terms by releasing 11 Thai and Filipino nationals, hostages taken during the October 7 massacre, in a separate agreement with Thailand and Iran. These releases were not part of the Qatar-brokered deal with Israel.
An anonymous source familiar with the details of the negotiations said that Hamas claims that the order under which Israel was supposed to release the Palestinian prisoners was based on length of imprisonment, with those jailed the longest to be released first. However, this was not the order by which the prisoners were released by Israel on Thursday, The Times of Israel reported citing The Walla news site.
Meanwhile, IDF Chief of Staff Lt Gen Herzi Halevi said that the military will resume strikes in Gaza once the ceasefire ends. Halevi attributed the ceasefire and hostage deal to IDF pressure on Hamas, asserting the military’s commitment to bringing all hostages home.
“We do not intend, do not want, and are not ready to stop this effort before we return all the hostages… it is our moral duty to bring them back,” he said.
He added that the IDF will utilise the pause to prepare and study while expressing the obligation to create pressure for the return of hostages.
“And we will return immediately at the end of the ceasefire to attacking Gaza, to manoeuvre in Gaza. We will do it to dismantle Hamas and also to create great pressure to return as quickly as possible and as many hostages as possible, down to the last one of them,” Halevi said, adding, “We have an obligation to fight and also to risk our lives so that (Israeli citizens) can return to live in safety, and we have hostages that we will do everything to bring them home.”
Notably, on the first day of the temporary truce, 24 hostages were released, predominantly Israeli and Thai citizens. A second group’s release, initially scheduled for 4 pm, experienced a slight delay, attributed to technical issues according to an unnamed Israeli source.
There is ongoing negotiation on whether 13 or 14 Israelis will be released on Saturday, contributing to the uncertainty around the delay, The Times of Israel reported. (ANI)



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