Israeli children released
Hostages released by Hamas were transported to an army base in Ofakim, southern Israel, in the third phase of the releases. Menahem KAHANA/AFP

The "truce agreement" between Israel and Hamas has been extended today, Tuesday 28 November, to allow the release of more Israeli captives and Palestinian prisoners.

Qatar has since announced that the pause in fighting will be extended by two days, until Thursday this week.

Israel has not confirmed nor commented on the extension.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry of Qatar, Majed Bin Mohammed Al-Ansari, said that the extended ceasefire was agreed under the same conditions as before – Hamas will release one Israeli captive for the freeing of three Palestinian prisoners.

More than 240 people were kidnapped by Hamas, amid its unprecedented attack on Israeli civilians on 7 October.

Amongst those taken by the proscribed terrorist organisation, is 10-month-old baby Kfir, who was named as one of the youngest unaccounted-for children.

According to family members, the young infant was taken alongside his mother, father and four-year-old brother Ariel.

Despite video footage of the red-headed youngsters being taken by militants into the Strip, the family is yet to be released and Hamas declared that they had no account of their whereabouts.

The extended ceasefire will also allow for an influx of aid to enter the Gaza Strip, where the humanitarian situation remains "catastrophic".

Aid organisations have taken advantage of the temporary pause in fighting, flooding the besieged enclave with lorries filled with essentials like food, water, fuel and medicine.

In Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry, more than 15,000 Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli Defence Force (IDF) airstrikes.

Reports note that around 40 per cent of the fatalities are children.

Kfir, a 10-month-old baby, has been named as one of the youngest unaccounted-for children who was taken by Hamas.

The agreement, which was mediated by Qatar, Egypt and the US, came into full effect on Friday and was set to last five days.

The five-day ceasefire has so far seen 51 Israeli civilians released by Hamas, most of whom, are also children.

Amongst those released by the Palestinian militants, were two three-year-old twin sisters.

Hamas said that it would release another 20 women and children, who have been held by the militants since it carried out its on-the-ground massacre of Israelis – killing more than 1,200 people.

In exchange for the kidnapped civilians, Israel has released 150 Palestinian prisoners who have, according to the AP, been held under Israel's "administrative detention" policy that intends to be used against people who have planned to commit future terror offences.

The Israel Prison Service confirmed that a group of Palestinian prisoners, 33 people, were released from Ofer prison on Friday, a detention centre in Jerusalem, who were welcomed by a crowd celebrating their return as they were driven through the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Videos of the warm welcome showed people in the Palestinian territory greeting the group with the green flags of Hamas and wearing balaclavas.

Less than a quarter of the prisoners that Israel said it was considering releasing as part of the deal had been convicted of a crime, with most being held on remand and awaiting a trial.

While Israeli and Palestinian families welcome the return of their relatives, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Office released a statement on Monday, saying it had "approved the inclusion of 50 female prisoners in the list of prisoners eligible to be released, in the event that a release of additional Israeli hostages is carried out".

Tal Amnu, the daughter of Alma Abraham, an 84-year-old who was released from Hamas' captivity on Sunday, told reporters that her mother had been refused emergency medicine for her medical condition.

"They abandoned my mother in terms of health; the Red Cross refused to take her medicine to her. She arrived in a daze, all injured. She was abandoned twice – once on October 7, and the second time by all the organizations that should have saved her. I wish they hadn't been able to defeat her," Amnu said.