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A temporary truce between Israel and Hamas was extended for a seventh day on Thursday, the Israeli military confirmed, minutes before it was set to expire. Hamas also confirmed the extension of the truce.
The Israel Defense Forces said the “operational pause will continue” amid talks for the release of more hostages.
In the hours before the deadline, both Israel and Hamas ratcheted up bellicose rhetoric. Hamas told its military wing to be ready for combat, after Israel’s military said it was prepared for the next stage of the war.
During the six-day pause in fighting, 97 Israeli and foreign national hostages have been released from Gaza, while 210 Palestinians have been freed from Israeli jails, officials said.
Meanwhile, the Israeli military said it was assessing a Hamas claim that the youngest Israeli hostage, 10-month-old Kfir Bibas, his brother and his mother are dead.