November 29, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas Asks for Extension of Pause in Fighting

November 29, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas Asks for Extension of Pause in Fighting

Latest Developments

The Iran-backed terrorist group Hamas on November 29 requested an extension of the pause in fighting with Israel. To date, the pause has resulted in the release of 81 hostages over the past five days. Hamas also said it would release two more Russian citizens as a gesture to Russian President Vladimir Putin. On November 28, the initial four-day pause in fighting was extended for two days. Hamas released 10 Israeli hostages and two Thai citizens that evening.

Expert Analysis

“Hamas is seeking to extend the pause in fighting so it can regain strength in Gaza and try to get the international community to pressure Israel to stop fighting the terrorists. The international community must not reward Hamas for using hostages to shield itself from defeat.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups are implementing a strategic approach regarding the release of hostages. They are attempting to prolong the pause in fighting by selectively releasing groups of hostages, with a focus on women and children. However, this strategy is limited, and Palestinian groups will eventually demand the release of terrorist leaders serving lengthy prison sentences for the remaining hostages.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Hamas Wants to Extend Pause in Fighting

The first pause in fighting that began on November 24 called for the release of 50 Israeli hostages from Gaza, with the option to extend the pause for five more days. On November 27, Israel agreed to extend the pause by two more days, through the morning of November 30. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for a longer ceasefire. “Intense negotiations are taking place to prolong the truce — which we strongly welcome — but we believe we need a true humanitarian ceasefire,” he said on November 29. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would ultimately return to fighting in Gaza.

Twelve More Hostages Released

Hamas released 10 Israeli hostages and two Thai citizens on November 28. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that evening that the hostages arrived in Israel and underwent an initial medical assessment. Afterward, they were flown to be reunited with their families at hospitals in Israel. Thai hostages released by Hamas are returning to Thailand after a visit by its foreign minister, Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, who met with Israel’s foreign minister, Eli Cohen. “Israel is committed to bringing back all the hostages, Israelis and foreigners alike,” Cohen said during the meeting at the Shamir Medical Center in Israel. A total of 19 Thai hostages have been released so far, and Hamas continues to hold 13 Thai citizens in Gaza.

IDF Calls on Red Cross to Finally Visit Hostages, Seven Weeks On,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Releases Russian Hostage ‘In Appreciation’ of Moscow,” FDD Flash Brief

CIA and Mossad Directors Seek to Expand Hostage Deal,” FDD Flash Brief


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