Israel agrees to a hostage deal with Hamas

The ceasefire is expected to last at least four days, unless the Supreme Court objects to the agreement

The Israeli government has voted to accept a temporary ceasefire agreement in the Gaza Strip, during which some hostages held by Hamas activists will be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, local media reported early Wednesday morning.

The Israeli Cabinet’s decision was supported by all branches of the Israeli security services – the Israeli army, Shin Bet, and Mossad – a senior Israeli official told the Haaretz newspaper.

Palestinian militants are expected to release about 50 Israeli women and children once the cessation of fighting begins, Reuters reported. The first hostages may be released on Thursday, unless the Supreme Court challenges the agreement and blocks the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Israel is scheduled to publish a list of the names of Palestinian prisoners scheduled to be released, and the Israeli public will have 24 hours to submit their objections. The list will reportedly include about 150 Palestinians, most of them women and children, none of whom have been accused of killing Israelis.

The temporary ceasefire could be extended further if Hamas releases more women and children “One day for each group of 10 other Israeli hostages.” According to The Times of Israel.

Before the vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told ministers that accepting the deal was essential “A difficult decision, but the right one.” He pledged that Israel would continue its war with Hamas after the temporary truce.

“We are at war and we will continue to war” Netanyahu said. “We will continue until we achieve all our goals.”

Hours before the cabinet meeting, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh confirmed that the movement was as well “We are close to reaching a truce agreement.” With Israel, while US President Joe Biden told reporters that all parties concerned were “So close, so close” To a deal.

Hamas fighters took about 240 hostages in Gaza during their attack on Israel on October 7, and have since released only four of these prisoners. The safety of the hostages has been a major concern to the Israeli public, which fears that the prisoners will be harmed during the IDF’s ongoing air and ground operation in the enclave, or executed in response to Israeli attacks.

Interactive map of Gaza Strip’s most prominent target hospitals and on-site developments

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