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Israel, Hamas agree to truce, paving way for some captives’ release – SUCH TV

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a temporary ceasefire deal that will enable the release of about 50 people who have been held captive in Gaza since the Hamas stormed southern Israel on October 7, in exchange for Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

According to international media reports, the Israeli cabinet backed the agreement after talks on a Qatar-mediated deal that continued into the early hours of Wednesday morning, with Israeli media reporting heated exchanges between ministers of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

In the end, only three of the 38 members of the cabinet voted against the truce – National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and two other members of his far-right political party.

Israeli prime minister’s office said the deal would require Hamas to release at least 50 women and children during a four-day truce. For every additional 10 hostages released, the pause would be extended by a day, it said, without mentioning the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange.

“Israel’s government is committed to return all the hostages home. Tonight, it approved the proposed deal as a first stage to achieving this goal,” it said in its brief statement.

Hamas, which controls Gaza, also released a statement, confirming that 50 women and children held in the territory would be freed in exchange for Israel releasing 150 Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails.

It said that Israel would also stop all military actions in Gaza and that hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian, medical and fuel aid would be allowed into the territory.

The accord is the first truce of a war in which Israel has flattened vast swathes of Gaza, which is home to about 2.3 million people. Palestinian officials say at least 14,100 people have been martyred, while the United Nations says about 1.7 million people have been forced from their homes. Hamas killed at least 1,200 people in its attack on Israel.

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