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Israel and Hamas Declare Temporary Cease-Fire in Gaza Conflict, with Plans for Hostage-Prisoner Exchange

Early Friday morning, a four-day cease-fire went into effect between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, marking a temporary halt in the ongoing conflict. This truce is expected to allow for the release of hostages in exchange for prisoners later in the day.

The violence began when Hamas-led forces carried out a major terror attack, taking hundreds of hostages back across the border on October 7th. The cease-fire started at 7 a.m. local time, during which Hamas has committed to freeing at least 50 of the hostages.

Credit: DepositPhotos

In return, Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners. The deal was reached through mediation efforts by Qatar, the United States, and Egypt. This is the first significant break in the fighting since Israel declared war on Hamas seven weeks ago.

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Previous cease-fires have been interrupted before their intended deadline. As part of the agreement, women and children will be the first group to be released by both sides.

Israel has announced a list of 300 prisoners eligible for release, mainly consisting of teenagers detained over the past year. Hamas is expected to release a similar list of Israeli hostages.

Credits: DepositPhotos

During the cease-fire, supplies will be delivered to the people of Gaza as soon as possible. Hamas has stated that 200 trucks a day will bring in aid, but has not provided details on quantities.

The hope is that this cessation of violence will lead to a permanent end to the conflict. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear that the country intends to destroy Hamas’ military capabilities and its governance in Gaza once the truce expires. 

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This would effectively put an end to Hamas’ 16-year rule in the region. Netanyahu has also reiterated his commitment to ensuring that all the estimated 240 captives held by Hamas and other groups in Gaza are returned to Israel.

Credits: DepositPhotos

Israel has dismissed speculation that the temporary truce signals the end of the fighting. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant reportedly told troops that the conflict would resume with increased intensity for at least two more months.

The death toll in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry, stands at over 13,300 Palestinians, without distinction between civilians and militants. Israel claims to have killed thousands of Hamas fighters, but exact figures have not been provided.

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Malik is a skilled writer with a passion for news and current events. With their keen eye for detail, they provide insightful perspectives on the latest happenings. Stay informed and engaged!