Hamas will release 13 hostages – all women and children – being held in Gaza today under a four-day truce with Israel. While their names are not publicised, these first batch of captives will be from the same families, according to Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesperson
A four-day truce deal between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas will kick in on Friday (24 November) morning, with civilian hostages and Palestinian prisoners being released later in the day, according to mediator Qatar.
The breakthrough agreement was supposed to come into force a day back, but it was deferred until Friday. While no official reason was given by either side, Israeli government source told BBC that Hamas had made more demands.
The Palestinian militant group kidnapped over 200 hostages, including foreign citizens from 26 countries, during its surprise attack on Israel on 7 October, as per the Israeli military.
What is the hostage deal between Israel and Hamas? Who are the hostages to be released today? What will happen after the truce is over? Let’s take a closer look.
Israel-Hamas’ hostage deal
The two sides have agreed to stop fighting for four days so that 50 women and children below 19 years of age held captive by Hamas and other groups in Gaza can be released.
In return, Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners – all women and children – from Israeli jails, The Guardian reported citing Hamas. The West Asian nation has agreed to a “humanitarian pause” in its attack on Gaza for four days.
Israel said in a statement that the ceasefire will be extended by a day for every 10 additional hostages freed, reported Reuters.
As per The Guardian report, Hamas says Israel will halt air sorties in southern Gaza and limit it to six hours a day in the north during the truce. Israel will also allow the entry of hundreds of trucks loaded with aid relief, medical supplies and fuel into Gaza through the Rafah border with Egypt.
Qatar’s chief negotiator in ceasefire talks, Minister of State at the Foreign Ministry Mohammed Al-Khulaifi, said that under the truce deal there would be “no attack whatsoever. No military movements, no expansion, nothing,” reported Reuters.