Israel, Hamas agree on four-day pause in fighting

ISRAEL and Hamas have reached an agreement to observe a four-day pause in fighting, during which at least 50 hostages, especially women and children, would be released.

This was contained in a statement by the Israeli government late on Tuesday, November 21, via its social media handle on X, stating that the release of every ten additional hostages would translate to an extra day of respite in the war.

“The Israeli government is committed to the return of all abductees home. Tonight, the government approved the outline for the first stage of achieving this goal, according to which at least 50 abductees – women and children – will be released for 4 days, during which there will be a lull in the fighting. The release of every ten additional abductees will result in an additional day of respite,” an English translation of the statement read.

The deal was reached during a mediation led by Qatar.

Although the statement by Israel did not mention the release of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel, Hamas disclosed that the 50 Israeli prisoners would be released in exchange for 150 Palestinian hostages held in Israeli jails.

This is the first truce since the war between Israel and Gaza began on October 7, when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Southern Israel during a major Jewish holiday, killing over a thousand people.






     

     

    Israel had retaliated in a bloody bombardment of Gaza, blocking all fuel, electricity, telecommunication, internet services, food and other essential supplies into the area as part of its war strategies, disregarding warnings by humanitarian agencies of the adverse effect of this tactic.

    During the pause, trucks conveying fuel, humanitarian and medical aid are expected to be granted entry into the Gaza Strip.

    Israel earlier rejected calls for a ceasefire despite appeals by many countries, including Nigeria, saying it would give room for Hamas to regroup and launch repeat attacks.

    The United States of America has also been one of Israel’s strongest allies, rejecting calls for a ceasefire but proposing a humanitarian pause instead, and 14,000 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli troops, according to Palestine government officials.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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