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Israel, Hamas agree to truce-for-hostage deal

November 22, 2023 at 10:32 am

People gather at the Hostages Square to march to Prime Ministry Office in Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, Israel to stage a demonstration in demand of prisoner exchange as Israel’s attacks continue on its 39th day in Gaza on November 14, 2023 [Nir Keidar/Anadolu Agency]

Israel and Hamas announced a truce-for-hostage deal early today.

Under the agreement, 50 Israeli prisoners of war held by Hamas will be released in exchange for at least 150 Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails, Israeli media reported.

The deal also includes a four-day pause in fighting and the entry of 300 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid, including fuel, into the Gaza Strip.

The agreement also allows an extension of the pause and the potential release of more children and women held by the two sides.

Israel estimates that at least 239 Israelis are being held by Hamas since 7 October.

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks in the Gaza Strip since 7 October, killing more than 14,128 Palestinians, including 5,840 children and 3,920 women, according to health authorities in the enclave.

READ: Hamas has not been broken. Destroying it, rescuing hostages is impossible’

Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques and churches have also been damaged or destroyed in Israel’s air and ground attacks on the besieged enclave. Some 390 Israeli soldiers have died as a result of Israel’s military invasion of Gaza.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi hailed the deal which comes as a result of mediation led by Egypt, Qatar and the US.

“I would like to welcome the success of the Egyptian-Qatari-American mediation in reaching an agreement to implement a humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip and the exchange of detainees by both sides,” Al-Sisi wrote on his X account.

He said Egypt will continue its efforts to “reach final and sustainable solutions that achieve justice, establish peace, and guarantee the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”

Israel-Hamas deal for hostage release, humanitarian pause in Gaza [Mahmut Resul Karaca/Anadolu Agency]