Netanyahu agrees to hostage deal between Israel and Hamas, but “The war continues”

About 50 women and children in Gaza will be released in exchange for 150 Palestinian women and children in Israeli jails. Ceasefire planned for 4 days. Netanyahu: "It is the right decision."
truce israel hamas

The Israeli government and Hamas have agreed to an hostage deal and four-day pause in the fighting to allow the gradual release of 50 hostages held in Gaza in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners in Israel and the entry of humanitarian aid into the besieged enclave.

The understanding covers on both sides the release of women and children. Hamas is believed to hold more than 230 hostages, captured when its militiamen raided southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people.

Egypt, U.S. and Qatar mediation in the hostage deal

The deal, hailed by many parties with favor, was brokered in weeks of secret negotiations by Qatar, the U.S. and Egypt. Washington has indicated that three U.S. citizens, including a three-year-old girl, would be among the hostages to be freed.

If implemented, the deal would still leave about 190 hostages in Gaza, about half of whom are believed to be military personnel.

Not all of the hostages are held by Hamas. Some are in the hands of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a separate extremist faction, and other criminal gangs in Gaza.

Most of the hostages are Israelis, but nearly half have dual nationalities, including Argentina, Germany, America, France, Thailand, Nepal and Russia. Hospitals in Israel are already ready to receive the released people, local media reported that the release will take place through the Rafah crossing.

List of Palestinians to be freed

The Israeli Justice Ministry has published a list with the names of 300 Palestinian prisoners who could be freed. A due move, to allow those who wanted to, within 24 hours, to appeal to the Supreme Court against release.

As, moreover, an association of victims of terrorism has already announced to do. That is why the agreement is expected to go into effect starting tomorrow.

According to U.S. sources, the first hostages will be released tomorrow morning and their total number may increase. The agreement, which was opposed to the end by the three far-right ministers in the Israeli government, includes an ‘incentive’ clause. For every 10 additional hostages released by Hamas, the truce will be extended by another day. But there is no mention here of the further release of Palestinian prisoners.

First truce in six weeks

The agreement is the first truce in more than six weeks of fighting in which the Israeli army has razed large areas of the Hamas-ruled Strip, killing more than 13,000 civilians and leaving about two-thirds of its 2.3 million inhabitants homeless, according to Gaza authorities’ figures.

Netanyahu reiterated that Israel’s broader mission remained unchanged. “We are at war and we will continue the war until we achieve all our goals. Destroy Hamas, return all our hostages and ensure that no entity in Gaza can threaten Israel anymore,” the premier explained under increasing internal pressure from crisis management.

The agreement is a significant propaganda coup for Hamas and a personal victory for Yahya Sinwar, the terrorist group’s leader in Gaza and mastermind of the Oct. 7 assault, according to Israel. “As we announce the signing of a truce agreement, we affirm that our fingers remain on the trigger and that our victorious fighters will remain alert to defend our people and defeat the occupation,” Hamas warned.

The EU, Russia and China all welcomed the temporary truce, which Egypt, Qatar and Jordan hope should now lead to more serious peace talks.

Read also: The Gaza Strip: history, what it is and who controls it

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