Israel and Hamas agree to hostage release deal, 4-day pause in fighting

Israel and Hamas agree to hostage release deal, 4-day pause in fighting

According to The Washington News

Israel and Hamas agreed early Wednesday to a hostage release deal that will involve a four-day pause in fighting the first cessation since Israel launched an air and ground assault on the Gaza Strip after Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack. At least 50 women and children among the estimated 240 people held hostage in Gaza will be released over that period, the Israeli government said in a statement. Hamas said on Telegram that the deal includes the release of 150 Palestinian women and teens from Israeli prisons, as well as “intensifying the entry of trucks for humanitarian relief, medical and fuel aid into all areas of the Gaza Strip.” Qatar, which has been mediating the talks, confirmed the deal for a “humanitarian pause,” adding that the starting time of the pause will be announced within the next 24 hours.

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The pause is to be extended an extra day for the release of every 10 additional hostages, Israel said, adding that its forces will resume the war afterward. President Biden welcomed the deal in a statement that also thanked the leaders of Qatar and Egypt. Three Americans — two women and a girl — are expected to be among those released in the first wave of hostages, a senior Biden administration official told The Washington Post.
The final legal steps of enacting the agreement began Wednesday with the publication of a list of about 300 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons. The law allows Israeli citizens who have been victims of militant attacks to challenge the release of prisoners at the Supreme Court. At least one advocacy group, the Almagor Terror Victims Association, filed a petition Wednesday to block the deal, according to Israeli media. The court rejected the appeal Wednesday evening. The list of detainees includes 123 minors.
Even now, the agreement will require delicate communication to hold, as hostages are moved through a hair-trigger war zone and released in batches over four days, The Post reports.
More than 11,100 people have been killed in Gaza, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which said on Nov. 10 that it could no longer provide an updated count because of the intensity of fighting in the enclave and repeated communication breakdowns. The ministry estimates that at least 2,000 more could be dead. At least 1,200 people were killed in Israel in Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack.

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