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Negotiations over hostages continue despite resumed fighting, source says

Negotiations with Qatari and Egyptian mediators over the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza are still ongoing, a source familiar with the talks told FLYINGEZE BLOG, even after Israel’s military announced the resumption of combat operations in Gaza early Friday. 

An hour past the 7 a.m. local time expiration of the truce, none of the main parties involved – Hamas, Qatar, Israel, the US or Egypt – had publicly declared a breakdown in the talks.

Negotiations had been aimed at extending the seven-day pause in the war.

Under the terms of a previously struck agreement, Hamas had been expected to propose an eighth list of hostages — 10 women and children to be released on Friday in exchange for an extra day of pause.

Israel has demanded that Hamas release women and children, alive, before moving on to other groups of hostages.

Israel had warned that full-scale military operations would resume once the current phase of hostage releases ends. But US officials have said talks will continue regardless to free the remaining hostages.

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