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The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Deviation of Diplomacy: Glimpse of Hope Arises in Seven-Day Hamas-Israel Truce

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit
Protest regarding a potential ceasefire in Israel regarding the Israel-Hamas War. Found on The Hill news source.

On November 24, a glimmer of hope emerged as rumors of a potential truce circulated and the world watched anxiously as a historic agreement was discussed, giving hope of possible peace for the first time not just since October 7, but since Israel and Palestine began engaging in conflict as a whole. 

Prior to the release of the news regarding the ceasefire, on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, Israel’s cabinet approved a deal that would result in 50 hostages being released across a four-day truce. After a deal was made between the two parties, at 7:19 pm IST, 24 hostages were released by Hamas consisting of 13 Israeli individuals, 10 Thai nationals, and 11 Filipino hostages. 

The truce was extended yet another day, but a seven-hour delay in releasing the hostages occurred due to Israel being accused of violating truce terms. Hamas released 13 Israeli hostages and 4 Thai hostages and Israel released another 39 Palestinian prisoners. On this day, it was also noted that Qatar hoped to extend the truce beyond the original four-day period of time. 

“What we are hoping for is that the momentum that has carried from the releases of these two days and this agreement of four days will allow us to extend the truce beyond these four days and therefore get into more serious discussions about the rest of the hostages,” Al-Ansari told CNN

According to CNN, Al-Ansari said “Qatar is coordinating with partners in Egypt, the United States, and both parties within the conflict to agree upon several allowed aid trucks going into Gaza. ” 

On Sunday, November 26, 2023, 17 hostages consisting of 14 Israeli people and 3 Thai people were released by Hamas, and another 39 Palestinians were released by Israel. Included in that group was Abigal Edan, a four-year-old Israeli-US dual citizen. Serving as a historical moment, given that her release was the first successful American hostage release since the beginning of the truce, Abigal is now receiving care at a local hospital local to Tel Aviv, according to a spokesperson from the Hostage and Missing Families’ Forum

Along with this, on Monday, November 27, 2023, Hamas informed Israel that they wanted to extend the four-day truce beyond Monday through a statement agreeing to release more Palestinian prisoners. However, Israel’s cabinet would only agree to such if Hamas released ten hostages per day within the agreed ceasefire. The United States agreed to this extension as a way of ensuring a safe release of more hostages, as well as a method of getting aid into Gaza for civilians that require it. 

After much debate and deliberation, it was confirmed by Qatari officials that Israel and Hamas agreed to extend the truce by two days. Under the terms of this agreement, Hamas would release ten hostages a day, and this agreement marked the extension of the original four-day truce, which was historically revolutionary. The first originally discussed truce, intended to be four days, served as the first development in the conflict that temporarily brought peace.

Along with the extension of the plan, Hamas released 11 Israeli prisoners and Israel released 33 Palestinians. All of the Israeli prisoners released were confirmed to be those with dual citizenship, according to Israeli and Qatari officials. 

The fifth set of hostages released on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, consisted of 10 Israelis, a dog, and 2 Thai citizens released by Hamas, as well as 30 Palestinians released by Israel. 

During discussions in Doha, Qatar, Israeli, American, Egyptian, and Qatari officials agreed to attempt to work toward extending the truce even further to get more hostages out of Gaza. Directors of Mossad, or the national intelligence agency of Israel, and the CIA also partook in this discussion and went to Qatar to negotiate for the release of more hostages for the second time. The expectation was that if everything went according to plan the following day, Hamas would produce another list of hostages and ultimately extend the truce for another 24 hours. 

Ultimately, Hamas did provide Israel with a list of hostages to be released the following day and they notified families, resulting in the second release in the extension of the truce. As predicted and hoped for by many, Hamas informed mediators of their willingness to extend the truce by four days. In addition, an Israeli official told The Washington Post that Israel would be willing to extend the truce for “another two to three days. ” 

However, while the truce was still in session, Hamas released 16 hostages consisting of 10 Israeli citizens, four Thai citizens, and two Israeli-Russian individuals, as well as an Israeli-American dual citizen on Wednesday, November 29, 2023. 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also tried negotiating with Israeli leaders and the president of the Palestinian Authority in saying that the truce has helped provide Gaza with more aid, which is all the more reason to extend the truce. As a result, it was confirmed that the IDF and Hamas extended the truce for a seventh day. 

On Thursday, November 30, 2023, Hamas released 8 hostages and Israel released 30 more Palestinian prisoners. 

Then, on Friday, December 1, 2023, after seven days of negotiating and conducting peace talks, the seven-day ceasefire formally ended at 7:00 am IST, and the IDF resumed combat operations while Qatari talks proceeded. 

Although the truce between Hamas and Israel was short-lived and came to a cessation after just seven days, hope was present in the region for the first time in two months. Within hours of the expiration of the truce, violence and terror unraveled once again in the Gaza Strip, representing the deep-rooted mistrust within the conflict. Ultimately, the quest for a solution to this conflict remains challenging and currently impossible, but the truce may serve as a glimpse of hope as to what may come in the future in regard to this conflict.

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About the Contributor
Maia Goldman
Maia Goldman, Staff Writer
Maia Goldman ('25) is excited to be writing for The Echo for this 2023-2024 school year! In her spare time, she enjoys being part of the Tenafly Tigers Marching Band, writing a plethora of creative stories, and watching the news. She aspires to be an international attorney someday.