Latest Israel-Hamas war updates on hostage releases from Gaza, pause in combat

Pressure is building for Israel and Hamas to extend the current pause in fighting to allow more aid to enter Gaza and more hostages to be released. The pause is set to expire Thursday, but Israel expects a further extension of “another two to three days,” an Israeli official told The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive negotiations. The Biden administration wants Israel to extend the pause, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday ahead of a trip to Israel and the West Bank. Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven and the high representative of the European Union also said they support a further extension. But the Israeli official said the pause will not “lead to a permanent cease-fire,” adding that the “goal of removing Hamas from its rule in Gaza” remains critical for Israel. Hamas is expected to release its sixth batch of hostages on Wednesday.

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