DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip - Hamas and Israel released more hostages and prisoners under terms of a fragile cease-fire that held for a fifth day Tuesday as international mediators in Qatar worked to extend the truce. The United States urged Israel to better protect Palestinian civilians in Gaza if it follows through on its promise to resume the war.
In the latest swap since the cease-fire began Friday, Israel said 10 of its citizens and two Thai nationals were freed by Hamas and had been returned to Israel. Soon after, Israel released 30 Palestinian prisoners. The truce is due to end after one more exchange Wednesday night.
For the first time, Israel and Hamas blamed each other for an exchange of fire between troops and militants in northern Gaza. There was no indication it would endanger the truce, which has enabled humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza.