Israeli authorities have given the green light to a deal aimed at securing the release of dozens of hostages held by Hamas. The agreement was approved early Wednesday morning, according to reports from The Times of Israel.
The arrangement, which is backed by Israel’s military and security agencies, involves a four-day ceasefire in exchange for the daily liberation of 12-13 hostages by Hamas. In return, Israel will release an approximate threefold number of Palestinian women and minors who are serving sentences for various offences in Israeli prisons. These individuals will be allowed to return to their homes in Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem.
Amid the exchange, Israel has also agreed to facilitate the supply of fuel to Gaza and a substantial amount of humanitarian aid. The exact commencement date of the ceasefire remains uncertain.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had reportedly insisted on certain conditions before approving the deal. These include the potential for more hostages to be released after the four-day pause, a commitment from Hamas to identify and locate hostages held by other terrorist groups within Gaza, and a refusal to release Palestinians convicted of murder in Israeli prisons. According to the report, Israel is of the belief that Hamas can assist in locating an additional 30 women and children who are being held hostage by other terror groups.
During a statement regarding the deal, Netanyahu emphasized, “We are at war – and will continue the war,” He added, “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 further assured that the security of Israeli forces will be maintained during the pause and that intelligence efforts will continue during this period, allowing the IDF to prepare for the continuation of the fighting.
This news is currently unfolding, and updates will be provided as they become available.