Israel and Hamas Reach Agreement: Militants to Release 50 Hostages

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As part of the agreement, Hamas will release 50 hostages in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and a four-day truce. Israel and Hamas reached an agreement: Qatari authorities, which mediated their talks, officially announced that the militants have agreed to release 50 hostages, women and children, in exchange for a four-day pause in hostilities. In addition, Tel Aviv will release a number of Palestinian prisoners from jails - previously reported about 150 women and juveniles who were convicted of something other than murder. At the same time, Israeli authorities have given 24 hours for members of the Israeli public to petition the Supreme Court against the agreement. Despite the agreement, however, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized that the pact did not mean “the end of the war”. “There is idle talk as if after the truce, upon the return of our abductees, we will end the war. So, I would like to make it clear: we are at war and we will continue it. We will continue the war until we achieve all our goals: to destroy Hamas, to return all the kidnapped and missing, and to ensure that there is no element left in Gaza that threatens Israel,” the Israeli prime minister said. Almost all members of the 38-member cabinet approved the deal. Only three ministers of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party - Ben Gvir, Wasserlauf and Eliyahu - voted against it. According to Hareetz, Israel’s security services - the IDF, Shin Bet counterintelligence and Mossad intelligence - also support the deal. According to the deal, Israeli aircraft will not be allowed to fly over the southern part of the Gaza Strip for the duration of the truce, and over the northern part between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm each day. Israel also agreed to allow 300 truckloads of humanitarian aid into the Palestinian enclave daily. According to Washington, the agreement’s implementation will begin about 24 hours after Qatar’s announcement, which is Thursday night. The agreement can be extended beyond the truce period: for every hostage released, Israel promises to release three Palestinians from prison, and for ten hostages, it will extend the pause in hostilities by 24 hours. In recent weeks, Netanyahu’s government has been under constant pressure from the families of the 240 Israelis taken to Gaza. They have protested every day, demanding a deal with Hamas. A few weeks ago, militants released four hostages - two Israelis and two Americans - as a show of humanitarian action. The Israeli army rescued another woman, a soldier, during a land operation in Gaza. The IDF recovered the bodies of two more captives. In addition, on Thursday night, the Islamic Jihad group, recognized terrorist in many countries around the world, announced the death of another elderly hostage. The militants blamed her death on Israel and its long reluctance to make a deal.