The Israel and Hamas truce agreement has hit a snag as the warring groups seek to straighten out the final logistical details.
The looming four-day truce, which was set to start today, has now been rolled over to Friday.
The temporary ceasefire will see the possible release of the hostages seized when Hamas attacked southern Israel in October, in exchange for Palestinians in Israeli prisons.
According to the agreement, there will be an extra day of truce for every 10 additional hostages released.
A decision that was welcomed by various sectors of society and world leaders.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the truce as a step in the right direction.
“It is my hope that the achievement of this pause will strengthen efforts to achieve an outright end to the current conflict.
“This pause, which regrettably implies a possible resumption of conflict at some point, must be accompanied by tireless efforts to secure a durable political resolution of the decades-long challenge in the Middle East.”
However, some South African Rights groups have raised concerns that the four days might not be enough to deliver much-needed relief for war-weary Palestinians or for civilians to flee hostile areas.
More than 14,000 people have died in the war, with children accounting for more than 40% of those deaths.
The United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, says the looming four-day ceasefire is not enough to save children’s lives.
UNICEF’s executive director Catherine Russell says Gaza is currently the most dangerous place to be in and remains a gravesite for children.
“The war must be brought to an end and the killing of children must stop immediately.”
The organisation is calling for the safe release of all the abducted children, while the South African Zionist Federation has called on the South African government to assist in the release of Pretoria’s citizens who are part of the group that’s being held hostage by Hamas.
Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza