Israel’s Dilemma: Balancing Hostage Releases and War Resumption

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As Israel and Hamas completed the second exchange of hostages and prisoners Saturday evening, Israeli leaders faced a dilemma over whether to restart their military campaign in the Gaza Strip once the four-day truce ends Tuesday morning.

By early Sunday morning, Israel said it had received 13 Israeli hostages — eight children and five women — and four foreign nationals who had been held in Gaza, and had in turn released 39 Palestinians from Israeli prisons.

The exchange was the latest part of agreement that allows for a pause in fighting to be extended. Israel has said it is prepared to grant another day’s pause for every 10 hostages that Hamas releases beyond the 50 outlined in the agreement, but Hamas has not responded to the offer.

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