Israel Hamas war LIVE: Mediators work to extend truce deal

Israel Hamas war LIVE: Mediators work to extend truce deal as pause in fighting enters final 24 hours – after Hamas hands over 12 more hostages

Is Israel's goal of destroying Hamas in Gaza slipping out of reach?

Israel’s goal of destroying Hamas could be slipping out of reach.

While the IDF’s bombardment had destroyed swathes of Gaza and killed thousands of civilians, it seems to have had little effect on Hamas’s rule, AP reports.

This is evidenced by the terror group’s ability to conduct complex negotiations, enforce the cease-fire among other armed groups, and orchestrate the release of hostages who were dragged into Gaza from southern Israel on October 7.

Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Yehya Sinwar, and other commanders have likely relocated to the south of the strip, along with hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians who have packed into overflowing shelters after fleeing from the north.

An Israeli ground invasion of the south could eventually ferret out Hamas’ leaders and demolish the rest of its militant infrastructure, including miles of tunnels, but at a cost in Palestinian lives and destruction.

This is a cost the United States, Israel’s main ally, seems unwilling to bear.

The Biden administration has told Israel that if it resumes the offensive it must operate with far greater precision, especially in the south.

That approach is unlikely to bring Hamas to its knees any time soon, and international pressure for a lasting cease-fire is mounting.

WATCH: Hamas hand over fifth group of hostages to the Red Cross

Hamas hands over 12 more hostages as Qatari mediators push for another truce extension on final day of ceasefire

Hamas yesterday handed over a fifth group of Israeli and foreign hostages, Israel’s Defence Forces confirmed, with negotiators now working to hash out another extension of the ongoing ceasefire set to expire later today.

The Israelis in the group were named as 36-year-old Rimon Kirsht, whose husband remains a hostage, Gabriela Leimberg, 59, and her daughter Mia, 17, who was filmed clutching her pet dog Bella as she was flanked by Hamas fighters.

The group also includes Mia’s aunt Clara Merman, 63, Argentina-born Ofelia Roitman, 77, Ditza Herman, 84, Tamar Metzger, 78, Merav Tal, 53, Philippines-born Noralin Babdilla, 60, and Ada Sagi, 75, whose British son Noam has been campaigning in Israel and London for her release.

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Israel-Hamas war: Here's what you need to know as the conflict enters its 54th day

Good morning and welcome to MailOnline's live blog covering the 54th day of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Here's what you need to know:


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