US and Israeli spy chiefs have flown to Qatar for talks on how to extend the current truce in Gaza in exchange for the release of more hostages by Hamas.
The discussions of the CIA director, William Burns, and the head of the Mossad, David Barnea, with the Qatari leadership, are expected to focus on persuading Hamas to begin releasing the men among the remaining hostages.
The latest exchange of hostages in Gaza for Palestinians in Israeli jails was concluded late on Tuesday, with 10 Israeli citizens and two Thai nationals transferred from Gaza, and 30 Palestinians released in Ramallah and Jerusalem.
The foreign ministry of Qatar, which is mediating in the deal, said the freed hostages included nine women and one minor. Several of them were released by the al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement. The Palestinian Prisoners Club, a local NGO, said that the freed Palestinians were 15 women and 15 male teenagers.
Israel has said the truce could be extended further, provided Hamas continues to free at least 10 Israeli hostages a day and Egyptian media are reporting that a deal to extend the truce has been agreed in principle.