GAZA: Israeli forces and Hamas fighters largely held their fire on Tuesday following the extension of a four-day ceasefire in Gaza by at least two extra days to allow for the release of more hostages.
With both sides expressing hope of further extensions, mediator Qatar hosted the spy chiefs from Israel’s Mossad and the US’s CIA at a meeting to “build on progress”, a source briefed on the visits told Reuters.
A US official confirmed that CIA director William Burns was in Doha “for meetings on the Israel-Hamas conflict including discussions on hostages”, without elaborating.
The truce, which began on Friday, has brought the first respite to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in seven weeks, during which Israel had bombed swathes of the territory into a desolate moonscape.
Although conditions on the ground in Gaza remained largely peaceful on Tuesday, Israel’s military said three explosive devices had been detonated near its troops in two different locations in the northern Gaza Strip, “violating the framework of the operational pause”.
Meanwhile a Hamas senior official invited US billionaire Elon Musk to visit the Palestinian Gaza strip to see the extent of destruction caused by the Israeli bombardment.
“We invite him to visit Gaza to see the extent of the massacres and destruction committed against the people of Gaza, in compliance with the standards of objectivity and credibility,” Hamas’ senior official Osama Hamdan said in a press conference in Beirut.
On Monday, Elon Musk, the social media mogul assailed for his endorsement of an anti-Jewish post, toured the site of the Hamas assault on Israel and declared his commitment to do whatever was necessary to stop the spread of hatred.