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Israel Cabinet Approves Deal with Hamas to Release 50 Hostages, Halting Fighting Temporarily

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Israel Government Approves Deal with Hamas to Release 50 Hostages, Halting Fighting Temporarily

(CTN News) – The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that on Wednesday, the Israeli cabinet voted in favor of a plan that would allow Palestinian militants from Hamas to release 50 female and juvenile hostages from Gaza in return for a four-day ceasefire in hostilities.

The United States, Israel, Hamas, and Qatari officials who have been mediating the talks had all been claiming for days that a settlement was on the horizon.

Israeli officials have estimated that 1,200 people were killed when Hamas militants stormed into Israel on October 7. It is thought that the group is holding more than 200 captives.

There will be a four-day truce in hostilities, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, during which fifty women and children will be released.

It stated that the halt would be prolonged by one day for every ten hostages freed, but it did not specify if Palestinian detainees would be freed in return.

Prior to the agreement, a U.S. official informed on the talks had stated that 150 Palestinian inmates would be exchanged.

The Israeli government has pledged to bring back all of the hostages. As a first step toward this objective, it authorized the proposed contract tonight, according to the statement released after hours of closed-door deliberation.

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According to Ynet, an Israeli news outlet, all but three ministers from the extreme right-wing Jewish Power party supported the agreement.

Israeli bombings have leveled large sections of Hamas-ruled Gaza, killed 13,300 civilians in the small highly populated territory, and rendered about two-thirds of its 2.3 million inhabitants homeless; according to Gaza authorities, this is all due to the pact, which will mark the first ceasefire in the ongoing conflict.

Netanyahu convened a meeting of his military cabinet and broader national security cabinet on Tuesday to discuss the accord, prior to calling a meeting of his whole government.

Netanyahu stated before the deal’s announcement that U.S. President Joe Biden’s involvement had improved the preliminary agreement, resulting in more captives and fewer compromises.

According to Netanyahu, there has been no shift in Israel’s larger objective.

We will not stop fighting until we have accomplished everything we set out to do. He began the government meeting with a recorded message in which he stated his goal of destroying Hamas, returning all hostages, and ensuring that no entity in Gaza could pose a threat to Israel.

Humanitarian supplies could enter Gaza during the break as well.

Channel 12 news and other Israeli media outlets reported on Thursday that the first hostages were likely to be released. According to sources, the accord can’t be implemented until 24 hours have passed so that Israeli citizens have an opportunity to petition the Supreme Court to prevent the release of Palestinian detainees.

Only four prisoners have been released by Hamas so far: Judith Raanan and her daughter Natalie Raanan, both of American citizenship, on October 20th on the pretext of “humanitarian reasons,” and Nurit Cooper and Yocheved Lifshitz, two women from Israel, on October 23rd.

Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian militant group’s military wing, announced late Tuesday that one of the Israeli hostages it had been holding since the strikes on Israel on October 7 had died. Islamic Jihad and Hamas were involved in the raid on October 7.

“We had previously stated our intention to release her due to humanitarian considerations, but the enemy’s inaction resulted in her demise,” remarked Al Quds Brigades on their Telegram channel.

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Evacuation Ordered by the Hospital

The hostage release deal was the center of attention, but the battle continued on the ground. Israeli forces ordered the evacuation of the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza City, according to Mounir Al-Barsh, director-general of Gaza’s health ministry, who spoke with Al Jazeera TV.

Militants were allegedly using the facility as a base of operations, and Israel claimed that they will take action against them within four hours.

The violence and shortages of crucial supplies have almost shut down hospitals, including the largest one in Gaza, Al Shifa. Hospital employees and Hamas both refute Israel’s assertion that the group uses the facilities to hide military command headquarters and fighters.

A key urban flashpoint and Hamas militant bastion, the Jabalia refugee camp was likewise ringed by Israeli forces on Tuesday.

Most Gazan Palestinians are considered refugees by the UN; this is because they or their ancestors were forced from their homes during the 1948 conflict that led to the establishment of Israel.

Israeli airstrikes on Jabalia, a densely populated suburb of Gaza City, have reportedly killed 33 people and wounded scores. Hamas has been fighting advancing Israeli armored forces in this area.

According to media outlets linked to Hamas in southern Gaza, an apartment in Khan Younis was targeted by an Israeli airstrike, resulting in 10 casualties and 22 injuries.

Reuters could not immediately verify the reports of fighting on both sides.

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