Ceasefire in Gaza: Netanyahu announces hostage swap deal with Hamas"

Written by Jeppe W

Nov.22 - 2023 7:52 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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The recent ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, brokered with the help of Qatar and Egypt, marks a significant development in the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office announced that Israel has agreed to a ceasefire following the approval of a deal with Hamas.

This deal includes the release of at least 50 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza over a four-day period. The truce could be extended by one day for every 10 additional hostages released.

The hostages, mainly women and children, are part of approximately 240 individuals held captive. The agreement's approval by Netanyahu's war Cabinet reflects Israel's commitment to securing the return of all abductees.

According to a statement from the Israeli government, the initial release of 50 hostages will lead to a four-day lull in fighting, with the potential for an extension based on further releases.

Hamas, in its announcement, stated its commitment to releasing 50 women and children under the age of 19 in exchange for the release of 150 individuals of the same age group from Israeli prisons.

This ceasefire, the result of intense negotiations, is a temporary measure aimed at providing humanitarian relief and facilitating the exchange of captives.

The context of this ceasefire is rooted in the recent escalation of violence. On October 7, Hamas led a significant militant attack on Israel, which resulted in Israel launching a substantial airstrike on Gaza.

Israeli officials have estimated that approximately 242 captives of various nationalities were taken during the Hamas-led "Al-Aqsa Flood" assault, which claimed the lives of around 1,200 people in Israel. Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades reported holding a majority of these captives, with the rest distributed among other groups in Gaza.

As the ceasefire goes into effect, the focus will be on the successful implementation of the hostage release agreement and the possibility of extending the period of reduced hostilities.

However, Prime Minister Netanyahu has made it clear that the war will resume after the ceasefire to meet Israel's objectives: the elimination of Hamas, the return of all hostages and missing persons, and the neutralization of any threats to Israel from Gaza. The situation remains dynamic, with ongoing efforts to address the humanitarian crisis and the complexities of the political landscape in the region.