Hamas says it seeks to extend Gaza truce after end of four days


The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says it seeks to extend a four-day truce with the Israeli regime after it expires on Monday.

“We are seeking to extend the four-day truce with Israel if serious efforts are made [by the regime] to increase the number of Palestinian detainees released from Israeli prisons,” the group said in a brief statement carried by the Palestinian Information Center on Sunday.

The truce took effect on Friday after a night of intense Israeli bombardment, requiring the release of Israeli captives held in Gaza in exchange for Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in the regime’s jails. It mandated the release of 50 Israeli captives in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners.

So far following the deal, the regime has released three 39-strong batches of Palestinian prisoners. In return, Hamas has freed nearly 40 Israeli captives and a number of foreign nationals.

Following the statement, a member of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Khalil al-Hayya, confirmed the movement’s seriousness about extending the truce into a “comprehensive prisoner exchange deal,” the agency reported.

“We were concerned from day one about the return of detained women and children to their families,” he said, adding, “We will strive with full diligence to secure the release of more civilian detainees.”

He added that once the movement makes sure about the possibility of securing the freedom of more Palestinian detainees, it will inform concerned parties about extension of the truce.

“We want to stop the aggression against our people and [make sure about] the entry of aid into the Gaza Strip,” the official said.

After the truce entered into force, Ziyad Nakhalah, the secretary general of the Gaza-based Islamic Jihad resistance movement, said the Israeli regime agreed to the truce because it failed to achieve its stated goals in the Gaza war and also due to its “losses on the battlefield.”

“Had it not been for the losses on the battlefield, the Zionist regime would not have agreed to the ceasefire agreement and the exchange of prisoners,” Nakhalah added in a televised address.

He said the resistance would “force the Zionist enemy to exchange all the prisoners on a wider scale.”

“The rest of the enemy’s prisoners, including officers and soldiers, will not be released without the release of the rest of our prisoners, and this issue is related to the end of the war and aggression,” Nakhala asserted.

Source: Press TV