Israel and Hamas have reached a temporary ceasefire agreement that will result in the release of approximately 50 women and children held captive in Gaza.
This exchange is part of a larger deal that includes Palestinians currently detained in Israeli prisons.
Following intense negotiations mediated by Qatar, the Israeli cabinet approved the agreement, with only three out of 38 cabinet members voting against the truce. The talks reportedly extended into the early hours of Wednesday, accompanied by heated exchanges among Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government ministers.
According to the terms, Hamas will release at least 50 women and children during a four-day truce. The duration of the pause will be extended by a day for every additional 10 hostages released, as outlined by the prime minister's office. Notably, the statement did not explicitly mention the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.
In response to the agreement, the prime minister's office affirmed its commitment to bringing all hostages home, considering this deal as the initial step towards that objective.
Hamas, which controls Gaza, also issued a statement confirming the release of 50 women and children from Gaza in exchange for Israel freeing 150 Palestinian women and children held in its jails. Additionally, the agreement includes a halt to all military actions in Gaza and the allowance of hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian, medical, and fuel aid into the territory.
This truce marks a crucial development in the ongoing conflict, where Israel has significantly impacted Gaza's infrastructure and displaced a substantial number of its residents. The toll of the war is staggering, with Palestinian officials reporting over 14,100 casualties, while the United Nations estimates that around 1.7 million people have been forced from their homes. Hamas, in its attack on Israel, reportedly caused the death of at least 1,200 people.