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Israel-Hamas agree 4 days ceasefire after hostage deal

 Published: 13:20, 22 November 2023

Israel-Hamas agree 4 days ceasefire after hostage deal

The Israeli cabinet has accepted a deal with Palestinian armed group Hamas for a temporary ceasefire and the release of hostages in a vote on Wednesday, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

The newspaper cited a senior Israeli official as saying that the deal would see Hamas release 30 children and eight mothers, as well as 12 more women, during the agreed four-day ceasefire.

The official also said that all the branches of the Israeli security services supported the deal, the newspaper reported. The deal includes only Israelis, but Hamas may release foreign nationals under deals with other countries, the report said.

Implementing an agreement between Israel and Palestinian movement Hamas on the release of hostages will start a day after the deal is reached and the United States anticipates the freeing of additional hostages, a senior Biden administration official said during a press briefing.

"Even if we get an agreement tonight or tomorrow morning, the implementation would not start until 24 hours after that," the official said on Tuesday evening. "If we had an agreement tonight, the implementation would probably be Thursday morning Israel time."

Palestinian movement Hamas will release 50 of some 240 hostages being held in the Gaza Strip, women and children first, over a four-day ceasefire that was approved by Israel's cabinet, the Associated Press reported Tuesday, citing the Israeli government.

Israel would publish a list of names of prisoners to be released under a deal with Palestinian movement Hamas within the next 24 hours so that Israelis can appeal the release in court, Axios reported Tuesday, citing an Israeli official.

The report added that Israel would extend the truce by an additional day for every ten hostages released.

Palestinian movement Hamas said in a statement on Wednesday that it has agreed with Israel on a four-day truce in the Gaza Strip with the cessation of all hostilities and the release of 50 Israeli hostages in return for 150 Palestinian prisoners.

"Following difficult and complex negotiations that lasted for many days, we announce that ... we, thanks to the persistent efforts of Qatar and Egypt, have reached an agreement on a humanitarian truce (temporary ceasefire) for four days, according to which a ceasefire on both sides comes, as well as the cessation of all military activities of the occupation army in all areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the cessation of the movement of its military equipment into the Gaza Strip," Hamas said on Telegram.

"The agreement includes the entry of hundreds of trucks loaded with humanitarian, medical and fuel aid to all areas of the Gaza Strip in the north and south without exceptions, as well as the release of 50 detained women and children under the age of 19 in exchange for the release 150 women and children of our people under the age of 19 from occupation prisons," the statement said.

Moreover, the movement said Israel has agreed to "completely suspend flights of its aviation in the southern part of the country for four days and to suspend flights for six hours, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. [local time], in the northern part."

Israel has agreed to ensure the free movement of Palestinians from the north to the south of the Gaza Strip during the four-day humanitarian truce, the statement said.

"During the truce, the occupation forces undertake not to attack or carry out detentions in all areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as to ensure the free movement of citizens from north to south along [the main highway of the Gaza Strip], Salah al-Din Road," the statement said.

At the same time, Hamas said its "battalions will remain on full combat alert to protect the Palestinian people and resist the occupation, despite the temporary ceasefire agreement with Israel."