Israel-Hamas Deal Secures Release of 50 Hostages and Four-Day Ceasefire


In a significant development, Israel and Hamas have reached a historic agreement resulting in the release of 50 hostages held in Gaza. The breakthrough deal includes a four-day pause in fighting, the delivery of vital aid through hundreds of trucks, and the reciprocal release of 150 Palestinian women and children held in Israeli prisons.

The fate of the hostages, kidnapped during the Hamas terror attack on October 7, has been a pressing concern in Israel, sparking public protests and political pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The deal, announced early Wednesday local time by Qatar, involved extensive negotiations facilitated by the U.S. and Egypt.

Following approval from Israel’s government and confirmation from Hamas, the pause in fighting is set to last four days, with specific details yet to be disclosed. During this period, Israeli drones, responsible for much of the bombardment, will cease operations for six hours a day. The deal also allows for an extension of the ceasefire in exchange for the daily release of 10 hostages.

A key component of the agreement is the entry of more fuel trucks and up to 400 humanitarian aid trucks into Gaza, addressing the mounting humanitarian crisis. The senior Israeli official outlined that 150 Palestinian women and children, not accused of direct involvement in attacks on Israelis, would be released.

The list of 300 prisoners eligible for release includes teenagers, women, and 18-year-old males, with charges ranging from rock-throwing to planning suicide attacks. The fate of 144 18-year-old males remains uncertain, as they fall outside the initial criteria set by Israel.

President Joe Biden played a direct role in the negotiations, receiving hourly updates on progress. The agreement faced challenges, including Israel’s demand for identifying information and “proof of life” for the hostages and Hamas’ insistence on fuel entering Gaza.

Despite the breakthrough, Netanyahu emphasized that the war with Hamas is not over, stating, “We are at war, and we will continue the war until we achieve all our goals.”

One remaining obstacle is the right of Israeli victims to appeal the release deal to the Supreme Court within 24 hours. The deal remains provisional until this period concludes.

The agreement marks the end of an arduous five-week process, with hopes high for the reunification of hostages with their families as the deal is implemented.


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