Israel approves deal with Hamas to pause fighting for four days & release hostages 45 days on from terror massacre

Israel approves deal with Hamas to pause fighting for four days & release hostages 45 days on from terror massacre

HAMAS and Israel have agreed to a four-day ceasefire so women and children can be released from captivity in Gaza.

The major breakthrough comes after weeks of negotiations between the US and Israel and Hamas mediator Qatar.

ReutersA ceasefire has been declared so women and children being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza may be released[/caption]

ReutersHamas chief Ismail Haniyeh claimed on Tuesday morning that Israel was on the brink of striking a deal with the terror group[/caption]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday ‘we are making progress’ regarding the return of hostages held by HamasReuters

GettyThe agreement is set to include a ceasefire on the ground and limits to Israeli air operations over southern Gaza[/caption]

About 240 hostages – mostly Israeli civilians – have been held captive in Gaza since Hamas launched its brutal attacks on October 7 and slaughtered 1,200 men, women, and children.

Four hostages have already been released, one female soldier rescued, and the bodies of two others discovered by Israeli soldiers.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh revealed on Tuesday morning that Israel was on the brink of striking a deal to pause fighting in Gaza and free hostages.

He told Reuters that Hamas officials were “close to reaching a truce agreement” with Israel and that the terror group had delivered its response to Qatari mediators.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “We are making progress. I don’t think it’s worth saying too much, not at even this moment, but I hope there will be good news soon.”

The PM’s office added Netanyahu would convene his war cabinet from 4pm GMT “in light of developments in the matter of the release of our hostages”, which would be followed by meetings of his wider security cabinet and the full cabinet.

A senior adviser to the PM, Mark Regev, told BBC Radio 4’s the World at One programme on Tuesday afternoon: “If an arrangement is made for the release of our hostages… it requires a decision by the Israeli government and that I think can be done very quickly… I think we are talking about hours.”

He said he hoped to see the release of Israeli people shortly “but I am still not 100 per cent sure”.

Regev noted one element of the deal could take “a touch longer” if Israel was asked to release Palestinians legally held in its prisons for “killing people”.

He explained: “There’s been arrangement in the past whereby families of those people who were killed by these individuals can petition the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court does a hearing which would take a few hours as well.”

The deal was supposed to see the release of about 50 civilian hostages by Hamas and Palestinian women and children freed from Israeli custody, according to Reuters.

Sources briefed on the talks said the deal would be for a multi-day pause in hostilities, with 10 hostages from Gaza and 30 Palestinians from Israel to be released each day.

Israel would be allowed to fly sorties over northern Gaza for 18 hours a day and between 100 and 300 trucks of food and medical aid, as well as fuel, would be permitted entry to Gaza.

Hamas official Issat el Reshiq told Al Jazeera TV negotiations were centred around how long the truce would last, how aid would be delivered to Gaza, and the details of the exchange of captives.

The deal comes 45 days after Hamas terrorists murdered 1,200 people and dragged 240 hostages – including at least 30 children, according to the Israeli Embassy – to Gaza on October 7.

ReutersRubble lies near damaged buildings following Hamas’ deadly October 7 attack on Israel[/caption]

ReutersA picture of an abducted girl is stuck to the door of a safety room with bullet impacts following the massacre[/caption]

EyevinePalestinians injured in an Israeli strike are rushed to the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City[/caption]

GettyCollapsed, heavily damaged buildings after an Israeli airstrike on Beit Lahia in Gaza[/caption]

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