Landmark Deal Mediated by Qatar Initiates Four-Day Pause in Conflict, Includes Conditions for Aid and Prisoner Exchange
Israel-Hamas War Latest Updates: In a significant development, Israel's cabinet has given the green light to a groundbreaking agreement with Hamas, facilitating the release of approximately 50 hostages and implementing a four-day ceasefire. The deal, brokered by Qatar, marks a temporary halt in the ongoing conflict.
As part of the first phase mediated by Qatar, Hamas is set to release Israeli women and children held in Gaza. In reciprocation, Israel has agreed to release around 150 Palestinian prisoners, with a focus on women and minors, according to a statement from Hamas. The ceasefire comes with a unique condition: the release of an additional 10 hostages will extend the pause by one day. The implementation timeline for this agreement remains unclear.
While announcing the decision, the Israeli prime minister's office emphasized that the government, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and security services will persist in the conflict until all hostages are returned, Hamas is eliminated, and there is no renewed threat to Israel from Gaza.
Hamas, in its statement, outlined key components of the deal, including the entry of hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian, medical, and fuel aid to all areas of the Gaza Strip. Air traffic in the south will be halted for four days, while in the north, it will cease for six hours daily. Crucially, during the ceasefire period, Israel commits not to target or arrest anyone in all Gaza Strip areas.
Israel Remains in a State of War
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified that despite the temporary pause, Israel remains in a state of war and will continue until all objectives are achieved. He emphasized the complete elimination of Hamas, the return of all hostages, and ensuring Gaza poses no threat to Israel.
Qatar plays a pivotal role in mediating these talks, liaising with Israel and Hamas. The country will oversee an operations room in communication with relevant parties, including the Red Cross and US officials, to ensure the successful implementation of the deal.
Transparent Prisoner Release Process
To maintain transparency, the names of the Palestinian prisoners set to be released will be made public within the next 24 hours. This allows Israelis to appeal to the courts against their release, as reported by Axios.