Know everything about Israel and Hamas four-day ceasefire and a hostage swap deal

Israel and Hamas four-day ceasefire

New Delhi: Israel and Hamas have reached a ceasefire agreement that will halt the fighting in and around the Gaza Strip for four days, starting from Friday. The deal, brokered by Qatar, also includes a hostage swap, in which Hamas will release 50 Israeli hostages, mostly women and children, and Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners, also mostly women and children. The agreement was announced by Qatar’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Majid al-Ansari on Thursday, after weeks of mediation efforts by Qatar, the US, and Egypt.

The ceasefire will take effect at 7 am local time (0500 GMT) on Friday and will cover both the north and south of Gaza. During the ceasefire, there will be no military movement or attacks from either side and humanitarian aid will be allowed to enter Gaza. Hundreds of trucks carrying fuel, medical supplies, and relief materials will cross the border into Gaza, as requested by the UN and other international organizations.

The hostage swap will begin at 4 pm local time (1400 GMT) on Friday, according to Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mohammad Al Khulaifi. Hamas will release the first batch of 50 Israeli hostages, who were captured during the Hamas raid on southern Israel on October 7, which sparked the current conflict. Israel will release the first batch of 150 Palestinian prisoners, who were detained during the Israeli military operations in Gaza and the West Bank. The exchange will be supervised by Qatar and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The ceasefire agreement also stipulates that Israel will extend the ceasefire by one day for every 10 additional hostages released by Hamas, up to a maximum of 10 days. However, Israeli officials believe that the ceasefire will not last that long, as they expect Hamas to release all the remaining hostages within the four-day period. According to Israeli media reports, Hamas is holding about 200 Israeli hostages, while Israel is holding about 450 Palestinian prisoners.

The ceasefire agreement has been welcomed by the families of the hostages and prisoners, who have been anxiously waiting for their release. The agreement has also been supported by the Israeli cabinet, which voted 35-3 in favor of the deal on Thursday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the release of the hostages was the first priority of the war and that Israel had achieved its military objectives against Hamas.

Israel and Hamas four-day ceasefire

The ceasefire agreement comes after more than a month of intense fighting between Israel and Hamas, which has resulted in heavy casualties and displacement on both sides. According to the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza, more than 13,300 Palestinians have been killed and 36,000 wounded in the Israeli airstrikes and ground invasion. More than 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced from their homes in Gaza. According to the Israeli medical service, more than 1,300 Israelis have been killed and 7,266 wounded in the Hamas rocket attacks and ground incursion. More than 500,000 Israelis have been displaced from their homes in southern Israel.