Breaking: Israel and Hamas Declare 4-Day Truce, Freeing 50 Hostages in Gaza!

"Israel and Hamas Reach Agreement for Prisoner Exchange, Bringing Hope for Release of Women and Children Hostages"

Israel and Hamas have reached a deal for the release of 50 women and children hostages held in Gaza in exchange for the freedom of 150 Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails. The agreement was announced on Wednesday morning, with the first hostage release expected to take place on Thursday. The number of hostages freed may increase, and the Israeli prime minister’s office stated that the “lull” in military operations would be extended for an additional day for every 10 more hostages released. The ceasefire start time will be announced within the next 24 hours, according to Qatar’s foreign ministry. The ceasefire will also allow for increased humanitarian aid deliveries, including fuel for humanitarian needs. Hamas confirmed the agreement, describing it as a “humanitarian truce” and adding that expanded humanitarian deliveries and restrictions on Israeli air sorties over Gaza were part of the deal.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised the hostage deal as the result of tireless diplomacy and relentless effort. However, he emphasized that the US will continue its efforts as long as Hamas continues to hold hostages. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated that the EU will use the pause in fighting to deliver more humanitarian aid to Gaza. UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron urged both sides to fully implement the agreement, highlighting the opportunity to provide greater volumes of food, fuel, and other life-saving aid to Gaza.

The Almagor Terror Victims Association plans to file a petition against the hostage and ceasefire deal in Israel’s high court. Israel’s military has stated that its campaign in Gaza is ongoing, with reports of intensified air bombardment. The IDF clarified that its operation targets terrorist infrastructure, terrorists themselves, and weapons. Al Jazeera reported that Israeli air raids have intensified in the last few hours across Gaza, and the situation remains dire.

Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, will embark on a regional tour following the announcement of the deal. EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell, after visiting Israel, Palestine, Qatar, Bahrain, and Jordan, expressed a sense of urgency regarding the dramatic situation in Gaza. He emphasized the need for rapid and durable de-escalation of military operations and underscored the importance of moving towards peace talks and enduring political solutions for the Middle East. Borrell noted that his meetings with hostage families highlighted the shock suffered by Israeli society and the urgency of progress.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has stated its readiness to assist with any hostage swap in the Israel-Hamas conflict. The organization clarified that it is not involved in the negotiations but will facilitate the implementation of any humanitarian agreement reached between the parties.

Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, described the Israel-Hamas deal as a breakthrough and stressed the importance of using the humanitarian break to provide vital aid to the people in Gaza.

The deal includes the potential release of 300 prisoners by Israel, although only 150 are mentioned in the agreement. Most of the detainees are between the ages of 17 and 18, with the overall age range being 14-59. The majority of the prisoners are male and have been accused of offenses such as attempted murder, throwing bombs, creating explosive objects, throwing stones, contact with hostile organizations, grievous bodily harm, and arson on nationalist grounds.

The mechanism for release involves the war cabinet of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Minister Benny Gantz deciding on the identity of prisoners to be released in each phase.

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Martin Reid

Martin Reid

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