Details: Israel, Hamas Reaches A Ceasefire-Swap Deal

(Anadolu Agency)- The Israeli government and the Palestinian group Hamas agreed to a prisoner exchange deal early Wednesday.

After around six hours of debating, a deal was approved by the Israeli Cabinet under which 50 hostages consisting of children, mothers and elderly women held by Hamas in Gaza will be released in exchange for a cease-fire lasting for four days, the Israeli Broadcasting Authority reported.

The pause in fighting would extend an extra day for every 10 additional hostages released by Hamas.

During the Cabinet meeting, the ministers were informed that the first group of captives would be released on Thursday.

The government said this is the plan for the first phase, to return the captives to their homes. It said the war will continue until all of the goals are achieved: returning all Israeli hostages and the elimination of Hamas.

While the Israeli Broadcasting Authority did not indicate the number of Palestinian prisoners to be released in return, the Hebrew Channel 12 said earlier that as part of the agreement, 150 Palestinian prisoners will be released and 300 trucks of humanitarian supplies including fuel will enter daily.

Hamas announced reaching a humanitarian de-escalation for four days with Israel after “difficult and complex negotiations for long days…with diligent and appreciated Qatari and Egyptian efforts.”

“According to the agreement, there will be a cease-fire by both parties, a cessation of all military actions by the occupation army in all areas of the Gaza Strip and a halt to the movement of its military vehicles penetrating into the Gaza Strip,” it said.

Hundreds of trucks carrying humanitarian, relief, medical and fuel aid will be allowed into all areas of the Gaza Strip, without exception, in the north and south, according to Hamas.

The agreement includes “the release of 50 women and children of the occupation detainees under the age of 19 years in exchange for the release of 150 women and children of our people from the occupation prisons under the age of 19 years, all according to seniority.”

The de-escalation also includes “stopping air traffic in the south of the Gaza Strip for four days and stopping air traffic in the north for 6 hours a day from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.”

Hamas stressed that “during the truce period, the occupation is committed not to attack or arrest anyone in all areas of the Gaza Strip” in addition to “ensuring the freedom of movement of people from north to south along Salah al-Din Street.”

“While we announce reaching a de-escalation agreement, we affirm that our hands will remain on the trigger and we promise our people that we will remain loyal to their blood, their sacrifices and their aspirations for liberation, freedom and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital,” it added.

Israel estimates that at least 239 Israelis are being held by Hamas following its cross-border attack on Oct. 7.

Israel has launched relentless air and ground attacks in the Gaza Strip following the attack by Hamas.

The Palestinian death toll from Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip has soared to 14,128, the Health Ministry in the blockaded enclave said Tuesday.

“The victims include over 5,840 children and 3,920 women,” the ministry added in a statement.

The Israeli death toll, meanwhile, is around 1,200, according to official figures.

Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques and churches, have also been damaged or destroyed in Israel’s air and ground attacks on the besieged enclave.

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