Breaking: Israeli Cabinet Approves 4-Day Ceasefire with Hamas

Hamas and Israel have agreed to stop all fighting in Gaza for four days as part of an agreement in which Hamas will release 50 women and children held as hostages in exchange for Israel releasing 150 Palestinian women and children from jail, the Palestinian group said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Israeli government also approved a deal of ceasefire in which 50 women and children would be freed by Hamas.

This, however, is not the end of the war, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before his war cabinet voted on the deal. The war will go on until Hamas is eliminated and all hostages are freed, Netanyahu said. “We are at war and we will continue the war until we achieve all our goals. To destroy Hamas, return all our hostages and ensure that no entity in Gaza can threaten Israel,” Netanyahu said before the meeting.

“We are at war, and we will continue the war,” Netanyahu said. “We will continue until we achieve all our goals.” Israel has vowed to continue the war until it destroys Hamas’ military capabilities and returns all hostages.

According to reports, Ministers at the cabinet meeting tonight on the developing hostage deal were informed that the first batch of hostages in Gaza may be released as early as Thursday this week.

Who are the hostages?

About 240 people were taken hostage by the Hamas after they attacked Israel on October 7. The hostages were mainly people who attended the music festival that Hamas targetted. In addition to Israeli citizens, more than half the hostages held foreign and dual citizenship from some 40 countries including the U.S., Thailand, Britain, France, Argentina, Germany, Chile, Spain and Portugal, Israel’s government has said.

Hamas so far released four captives: US citizens Judith Raanan, 59, and her daughter, Natalie Raanan, 17, on October 20, citing “humanitarian reasons,” and Israeli women Nurit Cooper, 79, and Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, on October.

Israeli forces freed one hostage, Ori Megidish, a soldier on October 30 during their ground invasion. The Israeli military said earlier this month that it recovered the bodies of two hostages in Gaza City, including 19-year-old soldier Noa Marciano.

(With agency inputs)

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