With the four day truce between Israel and Hamas further extended together with the release of Palestinian prisoners, mainly women and children in Israeli jails, in exchange for captives abducted by Hamas during their attack on Saturday 7 October, there have been calls for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Muslim leaders meeting at the 6th National Summit of the Alliance of Australian Muslims (AAM) on Sunday 26 November while calling for a lasting ceasefire in Gaza also urged the Australian Government to condemn the Israeli barbaric actions and brutal attacks on Gaza and the Westbank.

Rallies and vigils are continuously being held in all major cities of Australia every weekend in support of ‘Free Palestine’ while protesting against the blanket support for Israel in its attacks in Gaza by the Australian government.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi has called on world leaders to work “with vigour and with urgency” to turn the temporary truce into a “permanent ceasefire”.

Pressure from the international community as well as from the supporters of Israel is being exerted on Israel to end war and find a lasting solution to the conflict.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Monday 27 November said there will be no “peace or security for Israel” without the establishment of a Palestinian state.

In a deal between Israel and Hamas brokered by Qatar after long negotiations, the first batch of prisoners exchange materialised on Friday evening 24 November with the release of 39 Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons and 24 captives from Gaza including 11 Israelis, 10 Thai and one Filipino among them.

The deal included a ceasefire for at least four days, entry of trucks carrying humanitarian, medical and fuel supplies and the total release of 150 Palestinian women and children in exchange for 50 captives taken by Hamas

This exchange has now been continuing and further extended beyond the first four days together with the cessation of aerial bombardment by Israeli fighter jets and artillery.

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said earlier that he hoped the initial four-day pause will lead to a longer-term ceasefire but Israeli leaders including its Prime Minister and the defence minister have vowed to continue their military operations after the few days of temporary ceasefire.

So far more than 15,000 people in Gaza have been killed mostly women and children, with almost 10,000 presumed dead buried under the rubble, over 35,000 injured, 1.7 million internally displaced and the entire population of 2.3 million Gaza population suffering and living in humiliation and short of basic necessities of life.

Israeli military forces as well as settlers are continuing with their oppression of the Palestinian population in the West Bank with increased brutality since Saturday 7 October with daily raids, killings, arrests, siege and demolition of homes.

Under the orders of the Israeli interior minister prohibiting the celebration of the release of Palestinian prisoners, mainly women and children, Israeli forces are warning and raiding homes enforcing the celebration not only on streets but also in the privacy of homes.

Meanwhile more than a dozen City Councils in US in states of Michigan, Atlanta, Ohio, Georgia, Delaware, Oakland and Rhode Island have passed resolutions calling for a lasting ceasefire in Gaza.

The resolution before the Oakland City Council saw several hundred people sign up to speak at a meeting on Monday 27 November, with many wearing black-and-white Palestinian scarves and calling for a stop to the genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.

Moreover US rights advocates including activists, actors, lawmakers and Palestinian supporters have continued their protests against the US backing of the Gaza War, a number them starting hunger strike in front of the White House urging President Biden to call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Audience members listen to public commentd at a special session of the Oakland City Council on a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza on November 27, 2023, in Oakland, California [D Ross Cameron/AP Photo].