Israel-Hamas war: Truce deal includes 4-day pause in fighting for 50 hostages


In a significant breakthrough following six weeks of intense conflict, Israel and Hamas have reached a hostage deal. Hamas will release 50 hostages in exchange for a four-day pause in fighting and the release of 150 Palestinian prisoners. The Israeli War Cabinet has approved the deal, set to take effect on Thursday at 10 a.m. local time. The temporary ceasefire aims to facilitate the delivery of essential humanitarian aid, including food, water, medicines, and fuel, to the besieged Gaza Strip, grappling with acute shortages.

Families of the hostages, who have been in the dark about their loved ones, express relief. The hostage situation began on October 7th when militants seized over 240 people from Southern Israel. While Hamas has released only four hostages, Israeli forces, during a ground offensive, managed to free one more. The hostages slated for release include Israeli citizens and nationals from the United States, Germany, Nepal, Thailand, the United Kingdom, among others. Approximately 40 of them are children, including a 10-month-old baby and preschoolers.

Global reactions to the development have been positive. The United States commended Qatar and Egypt for their crucial leadership in brokering the deal, with President Biden calling it extraordinarily gratifying. The UK sees it as a crucial step, Russia as good news, and China hopes it will deescalate the conflict. Germany emphasizes using the breakthrough to provide vital aid to Gaza, and France welcomes the deal, expressing ongoing efforts to free all hostages. Egypt’s President hails the success of their mediation with Qatar and the United States.

The Israeli government’s approval of the deal marks a pivotal moment, with potential implications for a broader resolution. The pause in fighting, coupled with the release of prisoners, could pave the way for a temporary truce, allowing the Red Cross to visit the remaining hostages in Gaza. However, Defense Minister Gallant underscores that the ground offensive against Hamas played a crucial role in pressuring them to negotiate. The pause may be extended based on the release of hostages, but the expectation is that the conflict will resume, highlighting the complexity of the situation.

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