Israel-Hamas war live: Ceasefire extended to release more hostages

A Palestinian man sits in an armchair outside a destroyed building in Gaza
A Palestinian man sits in an armchair outside a destroyed building in Gaza Credit: AP

Israel and Hamas agreed to extend the ceasefire by at least one more day, minutes before the six-day truce was due to expire.

Israel’s military said in a statement on Thursday the truce would continue as mediators sought to release more hostages held in Gaza in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

“In light of the mediators’ efforts to continue the process of releasing the hostages and subject to the terms of the framework, the operational pause will continue,” the Israeli military statement said.

Hamas, which free 16 hostages in exchange for 30 Palestinian prisoners on Wednesday, also confirmed the truce would continue for a seventh day.

Follow the latest updates below

Pictured: Thai hostages return home

Thai hostages have touched down in Bangkok after being released by Hamas.

The first batch of Thai nationals Credit: REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa
Thai nationals who had been kidnapped and taken hostage Credit: Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

Truce 'producing results', Blinken says

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said today that the current truce between Israel and Hamas was “producing results” and should continue.

Mr Blinken was speaking at a meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv during his third trip to the region since the Hamas attacks on October 7. 

He said:

“We have seen over the last week the very positive development of hostages coming home, being reunited with their families.

“That should continue today. It’s also enabled an increase in humanitarian assistance to go to innocent civilians in Gaza who need it desperately.

“So this process is producing results. It’s important, and we hope that it can continue.”

Thai hostages released by Hamas arrive in Thailand

A group of 17 Thai nationals who had been held hostage by Hamas in Gaza arrived at a Bangkok airport on Thursday, Thailand’s foreign ministry told reporters.

A total of 23 Thai hostages have been released, with nine remaining in captivity.

Watch: Aftermath of Jerusalem shooting Vm9EON6-27o

Jerusalem attack 'strengthens Israel's resolve' to continue was against Hamas

The attack on Jerusalem has strengthened Israel’s resolve to continue its war against Hamas, Israeli War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz has said.

Using the biblical name for the West Bank, Mr Gantz wrote on X:

“This terror attack is further proof of our obligation to continue to fight with strength and determination against murderous terrorism, which threatens our citizens. In Jerusalem, Gaza, in Judea and Samaria, and everywhere.”

27-year-old festival goer confirmed as dead

Ofir Tzarfati, who was thought to have been kidnapped from the Supernova music rave on October 7, had been killed, according to his family. 

Tzarfati was with his girlfriend at the festival to celebrate his 27th birthday when terrorists abducted him. 

Hamas killed at least 364 people at the festival and kidnapped many others.

Israeli civilians killed Jerusalem attackers

Gunmen who opened fire on a bus stop in Jerusalem were killed by civilians, according to the city’s deputy mayor. 

Fleur Hassan-Nahoum confirmed reports that the attackers killed three people. 

Five others remain in hospital and are “very badly injured”, she added. 

“People just going about their day, waiting for the bus, got cruelly shot by two gunmen with long guns, indiscriminately, and the hospital is now full of injured as well,” she said.

As of yet there are no details about the gunmen, “but we probably know that they’re coming from the sleeper cells that we have around here,” she said.

Israel's approach to ceasefire is 'crystal clear', official says

Israel has reiterated that it will extend the truce with Hamas if the terror group continues to release ten “living hostages” each day. 

Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that Israel’s approach to the ceasefire is “crystal clear”. 

“Every day, we agreed to an extension for the release of 10 hostages, 10 living hostages,” Mr Regev told CNN. 

“If Hamas continues to release hostages, 10 a day, we will extend the hold — the pause.”

He added that there are still at least 140 hostages still inside of Gaza. 

“We are not going to play games with the lives of our people,” Mr Regev said. “Hamas knows what the parameters of the deal are.”

Israeli National Security Minister arrives at scene of Jerusalem attack

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has arrived at the scene of the Jerusalem attack. 

According to Mr Ben Gvir, Israel must respond to terror with military pressure.

“This type of incident proves again how much we can’t show weakness, how much we have to speak to Hamas only through intentions, only through the war,” he said. 

He added that the attack supported his policy of having more civilians armed with guns.

Forty-five Palestinians arrested overnight

Forty-five Palestinians have now been detained by Israel following overnight raids in the West Bank. 

The majority were arrested during raids in Biddu, near Jerusalem.

It is thought that the total will rise as raids are ongoing in Tubas, Jericho, Bethlehem and Tulkarem.

In pictures: Jerusalem attack

Here are the latest photographs from the scene of a shooting in Jerusalem.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews look on as police and security forces secure the site of a shooting in Jerusalem Credit: Menahem KAHANA / AFP
Israeli police and rescue workers at the shooting attack site in Jerusalem Credit: AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg

Jerusalem death toll rises to three

The death toll from the attack in Jerusalem this morning has risen to three after an elderly victim succumbed to her injuries.

Two elderly victims who were critically injured died at a hospital, while a 24-year-old died at the scene of the incident, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service. 

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion has ordered increased security across the city to “to boost the sense of security among residents”, reports say.

Qatar releases more details of ceasefire

More details about the current ceasefire have been released by Qatar. 

Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Majed Al Ansari said in a statement: 

“Palestinian and Israeli sides have reached an agreement to extend the humanitarian pause in the Gaza Strip for an additional day under the existing conditions, which are a cessation of all military activities and the entry of humanitarian aid to Gaza.”

According to Al Ansari, the truce will operate “within the framework of the joint mediation of the State of Qatar with the Arab Republic of Egypt and the United States of America”. 

Qatar, along with support from Egypt and the United States, has been engaged in fierce negotiations to extend the truce, which had been due to end this morning.

Shooting death toll rises to two

A further person was pronounced dead following the shooting attack in Jerusalem this morning, according to reports. 

A 73-year-old man died of his wounds at the Shaare Zedek Hospital, to the Israeli ambulance service said

Breaking: Shooting attack in Jerusalem

At least one woman has died and eight others have been wounded in a shooting attack during rush hour in Jerusalem.

“Two terrorists who arrived at the scene in a vehicle armed with weapons fired at civilians at a bus stop, and they were neutralised by security forces and a civilian who were nearby,” Israeli police said.

A large number of ambulances and police converged on the scene and police said they were searching the area to make sure there were no other attackers.

The US ambassador to Israel condemned the shooting.

“Abhorrent terrorist attack in Jerusalem this morning. We unequivocally condemn such brutal violence,” said Ambassador Jack Lew.

Israel receives new list of hostages to be released

The Israeli government said it has received a new list of women and children hostages in the Gaza Strip to be released by Hamas on Thursday in exchange for a one-day extension of the truce.

“A short time ago, Israel was given a list of women and children in accordance with the terms of the agreement, and therefore the truce will continue,” said the statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, without specifying the number of hostages to be released.

Palestinian prisoners released overnight

Israel released another group of Palestinian prisoners early on Thursday in exchange for 16 hostages freed hours earlier.

A bus carrying some of the Palestinian detainees was seen arriving in the West Bank city of Ramallah before dawn.

Most prominent among those freed was Ahed Tamimi, a 22-year-old activist who gained worldwide fame in 2017 after a video of her slapping an Israeli soldier went viral on social media.

Israeli troops arrested her at her West Bank home on November 6 for “inciting to terrorism” on her Instagram account. Her mother said Tamimi’s account had been hacked.

Ahed Tamimi speaks to the media after she arrives in Ramallah Credit: Anadolu

Ceasefire extended minutes before deadline

The Qatari Foreign Ministry said the truce was being extended under the same terms as in the past, under which Hamas has released 10 Israeli hostages per day in exchange for 30 Palestinian prisoners.

Negotiations came down to the wire and the extension came just minutes before the 7am deadline, due to Israel and Hamas reaching a standoff over the next round of hostage releases.

Hamas said Israel refused to accept a proposed list that included seven living captives and the remains of three who the group said were killed in previous Israeli airstrikes.

Israeli media quoted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office as saying Israel had rejected Hamas’ list.

Negotiators had been working into Thursday to hammer out details for a further extension of the truce. The expectation had been to extend the pause in fighting for at least another day or two, with the focus on releasing women and children.

Good morning

Welcome to today’s Israel-Hamas live blog. 

Both sides have committed to extending a ceasefire for at least one more day.

We will bring you the latest news and developments as they happen.