Israel-Hamas latest news: Hamas fighters to free more hostages as families reunite

Hamas needs to track down dozens of hostages in Gaza before it can extend the current ceasefire, Qatar’s prime minister has said.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told the Financial Times that Hamas cannot agree an extension to the current ceasefire until it locates 40 women and children who are allegedly being held by civilians, gangs and other Islamist groups.

“We don’t yet have any clear information how many they can find because . . . one of the purposes [of the pause] is they [Hamas] will have time to search for the rest of the missing people,” he said.

Hamas has told Qatar that it did not capture any civilians on October 7, instead blaming it on other Islamist groups and opportunistic Palestinian civilians.

Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will extend the current four-day ceasefire by one day for every 10 additional hostages that are released.

But the Qatari prime minister’s comments will cast doubt on whether Hamas can provide the hostages necessary to keep its side of the bargain.

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