| 29 February 2024, Thursday |

Israel–Hamas war: The hostage deal and ceasefire explained

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a four-day truce, allowing for the release of 50 hostages held by Hamas in exchange for 150 Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

The hostages, taken in an October 7 raid, include women and children under 19. The truce, termed a “humanitarian pause,” may be extended for each additional batch of hostages released.

It is expected to start as early as 10 a.m. on Thursday, according to an Egyptian source. The International Committee of the Red Cross will facilitate the hostage release, with trucks loaded with aid and fuel entering Gaza during the truce.

The deal was negotiated with mediation from Qatar, the U.S., and Egypt. The released prisoners include 88 women and 250 children, held for incidents like attempted stabbings and damaging property, with none accused of murder.

The negotiations took 46 days amid the intense conflict, with both sides expressing conditions for a permanent ceasefire.

  • Reuters