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Senior Official: Hamas working to extend truce in Gaza Strip

A top Hamas official says the Palestinian resistance movement is engaged in intensive talks with various mediators to extend the pause in the fighting in the Gaza Strip, stressing that Israel cannot impose a military solution either on the conflict in the enclave or on tensions escalating across the West Bank.

“We are working with all parties, especially Qatar and Egypt, to extend the ceasefire. The West is convinced of the necessity to end Israel’s war against Gaza,” Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, told the Arabic-language Al Araby television network on Wednesday.

“We have declared our position clearly. What we want is an end to the [Israeli] occupation and a political solution. We realize the nature of the complexities. We interact, therefore, with all parties in a calculated manner and within a defined framework,” he added.

Hamad went on to note that the Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, which Gaza-based resistance factions launched against the occupying Tel Aviv regime on October 7, compelled Israeli officials and their Western allies to look for a political solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We raised the issue of truce violations by Israeli forces with the mediators, and are putting pressure to stop them,” the senior member of Hamas continued.

Hamad underscored that Hamas can play its cards right to extend the truce, stating that the Israeli military cannot impose a military solution either in the West Bank or in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, a source close to Hamas has confirmed that the group is willing to extend the truce by an additional four days.

“Hamas has informed the mediators that it is willing to extend the truce for four days and that the movement would be able to release Israeli prisoners that it, other resistance movements, and other parties [have held] during this period, according to the terms of the existing truce,” the source told AFP news agency.

This comes as Israeli gunboats shelled the coast of Khan Younis in southern Gaza on Wednesday morning despite the ongoing halt in fighting. 

The Israeli Walla news website also reported a further incident off the coast of Gaza’s shores. 

“A second shooting incident on the shores of the Gaza Strip,” Walla correspondent Amir Bohbot wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Navy fighters opened fire on a Palestinian boat that was trying to go out into the open sea from the shores of Deir al-Balah. The boat returned to the shore,” he added.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.

According to the Gaza-based health ministry, over 15,000 Palestinians, including more than 6,150 children and 4,000 women, were killed in Israeli strikes, during the 49 days of war. Many more dead are feared to be under the rubble.

Tel Aviv has also imposed a “complete siege” on Gaza, cutting off fuel, electricity, food, and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there.

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