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Israel, Hamas agree to temporary cease-fire, hostage release deal including freeing 3 Americans


Israel and Hamas have agreed to a temporary cease-fire for humanitarian purposes that includes a hostage release deal, Fox News has confirmed. 

“The Israeli government is committed to the return of all hostages home. Tonight, the government approved the outline for the first stage of achieving this goal, according to which at least 50 hostages – women and children – will be released for 4 days, during which there will be a lull in the fighting,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. 

“The release of every ten additional hostages will result in an additional day of respite. The Israeli government, the IDF and the security forces will continue the war in order to return all the hostages, to complete the elimination of Hamas and to ensure that Gaza does not renew any threat to the State of Israel.”

The cease-fire was officially announced hours after Israeli and Hamas leaders said Tuesday that negotiations were in their final stages. Both sides ultimately agreed to their conditions. Qatari negotiators helped broker the agreement.

Under the deal, Israel’s military has agreed to temporarily stop its pursuit of Hamas — including its ground invasion of Gaza and its airstrikes — for humanitarian purposes. Also, Hamas has agreed to release dozens of hostages in tandem with Israel agreeing to release Palestinian prisoners on a 3-to-1 ratio. Fox News’ Trey Yingst reported Hamas leaders would release one hostage for every three Palestinians that Israel releases from its prisons. 

Hamas, which governs Gaza, took about 240 hostages from Israel during its terror attack on Oct. 7, when it invaded Israel and killed approximately 1,200 people, mostly civilians. The terror group said at the time that it took enough hostages, which included Israelis, Americans and other foreign nationals, to free all Palestinians in Israel.

LIVE UPDATES ON THE ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR

SDEROT, ISRAEL – NOVEMBER 21: Smoke, rising over the destroyed buildings following the Israeli attacks on Gaza’s Beit Hanoun, is seen from Sderot, Israel on November 21, 2023.  (Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Yingst reported live from Israel that the hostages are expected to only be women and children, while it is not immediately clear which prisoners would be released. The initial hostages released will likely not include the entirety of women and children being held hostage. 

Even with a delicate deal finalized, the actual release of the hostages is expected to take at least 24 hours. Yingst reported Israel and Hamas could likely release only a few hostages at a time to see if the peace holds. 

“You’ll see the first hostages come out over the course of Thursday,” a senior administration official said, noting that the release could occur at multiple locations. 

Netanyahu met with his war council Tuesday afternoon, then the security council and then his full cabinet before the agreement was announced. Ahead of the meetings, he said he hoped there would be “good news.”

Earlier Tuesday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Mark Regev, the senior advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, openly said a deal was close. 

Netanyahu on Hannity

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel needs to ‘root out Hamas completely.’  (FOX News/Hannity)

STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS ‘TRANSITION PERIOD’ MUST FOLLOW ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR

The deal was announced as Israeli forces were working their way through northern Gaza and across the Gaza Strip. It also came after the Israeli military said it had targeted 250 different Hamas sites over the past day, killing dozens of Hamas combatants.

Israeli tank near Gaza Strip

An Israeli army battle tank moves at a position near a barbed wire fence along the border with the Gaza Strip and southern Israel on Wednesday, Nov. 8. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel continued to bombard Hamas targets in Gaza throughout Tuesday.

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Qatari mediators were previously seeking a deal for Hamas to release 50 Israeli hostages, Reuters reported. Among those hostages would be three Americans, including Abigail Mor Idan. 

Approximately 10 Americans remain unaccounted for. 

Israel and Hamas have been at war since Hamas-led forces carried out the deadliest terror attack in Israel’s history on Oct. 7, when it invaded Israel and killed approximately 1,200 people, mostly civilians.

The Gaza Health Ministry – run by Hamas – has said more than 12,700 Palestinians have been killed by Israel’s military in their counteroffensive.



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