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Israel-Hamas Truce Signals Four-Day Pause in Fighting, Release of Some Hostages

Ahead of the deal's approval, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed a pause in fighting would not mean the end of the war on Hamas.
Children walk through a temporary camp in southern Gaza. Photo: WHO

New Delhi: The Israeli cabinet approved in the early hours today a deal with Hamas which would lead to the release of Israeli hostages. According to Israel, 50 Israeli hostages taken by the militant group Hamas during the October 7 terror attacks will be freed – all of them women and children.

In exchange, Hamas said Israel will release 150 Palestinian women and children held in Israeli jails.

The deal also includes a four-day “cease-fire” – a term used by Hamas, while Israel has spoken of a “pause in fighting”. Israel said it would extend the lull by an additional day for every 10 hostages released by Hamas.

The head of Hamas’s international relations office in Doha, Musa Abu Marzouq, had given extensive details of the hostage-prisoner exchange to The Wire on November 18.

US President Joe Biden, in  a statement, welcomed the deal for a pause in fighting. He thanked the heads of government in Egypt and Qatar – Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt – “for their and partnership in reaching this deal.”

Qatar too has released a statement on a humanitarian pause, noting “The humanitarian pause will also allow the entry of a larger number of humanitarian convoys and relief aid, including fuel designated for humanitarian needs.”


According to news reports, Hamas has released an official statement that recognises the following terms:

— A ceasefire on both sides, a cessation of all military actions by occupation forces in all areas of the Gaza Strip, and a cessation of the movement of its military vehicles penetrating into the Gaza Strip.

— The entry of hundreds of trucks of humanitarian, relief, medical and fuel aid into all areas of the Gaza Strip, without exception, in the north and south.

— The release of 50 women and children of the occupation’s detainees, all under the age of 19 years, in exchange for the release of 150 women and children of our people from the occupation’s prisons under the age of 19 years, in order of time imprisoned.

— Stopping all occupation air traffic in the south for four days.

— Stopping all occupation air traffic in the North for 6 hours a day, from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM. During the truce period, the occupation is committed not to attack or arrest anyone in all areas of the Gaza Strip.

— Ensuring freedom of movement of people (from north to south) along Salah El-Din Street.

Hamas also said, “While we announce the arrival of a truce agreement, we affirm that our hands will remain on the trigger, and our victorious battalions will remain on the lookout to defend our people and defeat the occupation and aggression.”


Ahead of the deal’s approval, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed a pause in fighting would not mean the end of the war on Hamas.

“We will continue the war until we achieve all of our war aims: To eliminate Hamas, return all of our hostages and our missing, and ensure that there is no element in Gaza that threatens Israel,” he said in a video released on social media.

Netanyahu argued that under the deal “not only will the war effort not be harmed, it will enable the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] to prepare for the continuation of the fighting.”

The Israeli prime minister had told the cabinet that accepting the deal with Hamas was “a difficult decision but it’s a right decision.”

With inputs from DW

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