Israel-Hamas agree on Temporary Ceasefire, Hostage Deal

Israel-Hamas agree on Temporary Ceasefire, Hostage Deal

DOHA: The implementation of the hostage deal, once executed, will mark the first temporary halt in the ongoing conflict, but it won't bring an end to the war.

Here's additional information you should be aware of:

What has been agreed?

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a four-day cessation of hostilities in Gaza, allowing the release of 50 hostages in exchange for 150 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel, as announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In addition, Hamas stated that during the temporary truce, hundreds of humanitarian, medical, and fuel aid trucks would be permitted to enter Gaza.

The exact start of the ceasefire is expected to be announced within 24 hours, according to Qatar, which mediated the agreement. Fighting persisted in Gaza following the deal's announcement, with the hope that, if successful, it will be the first break in the six-week Israeli offensive that has resulted in over 13,000 casualties, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

Why now?

The agreement arose under increasing pressure from the families of the hostages and the international community. The majority of the Israeli war Cabinet voted in favor of the deal. The Israeli government, under Prime Minister Netanyahu, emphasized its commitment to bringing all hostages home.

After weeks of mediated talks by Qatar, involving other regional and global powers such as the United States and Egypt, international observers anticipate that the deal will not only lead to the release of remaining hostages but also improve the dire humanitarian situation for Gaza's civilians.

What happens once the cease-fire is over?

Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani expressed hope that the hostage deal would pave the way for a peace process in Gaza, seeking a comprehensive and just peace process in line with international legitimacy resolutions. In contrast, Netanyahu stated that the war in Gaza would resume after the pause until all of Israel's goals are achieved, including the elimination of Hamas, considered a terrorist group by Israel, the European Union, the United States, and others.

Another goal is to secure the release of all hostages. Israel has indicated that it would extend the four-day pause for an additional day for every ten hostages released by Hamas. The Justice Ministry published a list of 300 names of Palestinian prisoners who could be freed, twice the initially planned number of 150 Palestinian women and children.

Hamas, while announcing the truce, asserted that it would not halt its broader fight, maintaining readiness to defend the people and defeat the occupation.