The Last-Minute Diplomacy

As the truce between Israel and Gaza approached its expiration, diplomats from various nations intensified their efforts to extend the ceasefire. The negotiations, which included the United States and regional powers like Egypt and Qatar, were crucial as both sides prepared for a fourth captive-prisoner swap​​​​.

Terms of the Truce

The truce, which was first agreed upon last week, halted seven weeks of intense conflict — the first pause in the violence since Hamas’s attack on October 7. The initial agreement led to the release of captives by both sides, with Israel releasing 39 teenage Palestinian prisoners and Hamas releasing 58 captives, including a 4-year-old Israeli-American girl​​​​.

Complex Negotiations

There were reports that Hamas sought a four-day extension, while Israel was open to day-by-day extensions, with a stipulation for the release of captives on both sides. The proposed deal would extend the ceasefire by two days, and include the release of 20 Israeli hostages and 60 Palestinian prisoners​​.

International Response

The international community, represented by figures such as the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, expressed optimism that an extension was within reach. This would enable the continuation of diplomatic work towards a political solution to the longstanding conflict​​.

A Fragile Moment

Despite the diplomatic dash, some experts expressed skepticism regarding the possibility of extending the ceasefire. Concerns were raised that without addressing the core issues, the cycle of violence might resume​​.

China and EU Join the Efforts

China’s top diplomat Wang Yi scheduled a UN Security Council meeting to address the conflict, and EU officials called for the extension of the truce to work towards a sustainable political solution, emphasizing the need to break the cycle of violence​​.

With the truce deadline looming and the future of the ceasefire uncertain, the efforts of the global diplomatic community signal the urgency of finding a resolution not just for the immediate crisis but for the broader conflict that has affected the region for decades.