Israel agrees to hostage deal with Hamas

November 21, 2023

Israel’s cabinet on Tuesday night approved a deal  to release 50 of the hostages being held captive by Hamas, all women and children. 

The agreement from the Israeli government came hours after a tentative deal brokered by Qatar was first announced.

In exchange for releasing the 50 women and children, Israel has agreed to a four-day truce in Israel’s air and ground campaign in Gaza, though it was unclear when that pause in the fighting would begin.

Some 150 Israeli-held Palestinian prisoners would also be released, according to Hamas, and hundreds of trucks carrying aid relief, medical supplies and fuel would also be allowed to all parts of Gaza as part of the deal.

According to Israel, about 240 people were taken hostage amid Hamas’ massive October 7 terror attack that killed some 1,200 people and sparked the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. 

Early in the conflict, Hamas threatened to execute a hostage every time an Israeli airstrike hits Gazans in their homes.

Nine Americans were among those still missing amid the conflict, but on Tuesday evening a senior U.S. official told CNN that at least three Americans could be among those 50 freed hostages.

After their safe passage, the released hostages would receive medical attention in Israel, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters earlier Tuesday. The U.S. State Department will provide consular assistance as well.

Last month in two separate instances, Hamas released two elderly Israeli women being held hostage and before that an American mother and daughter, for health reasons.

PHOTO: Posters in Israel calling for return of the hostages taken by Hamas

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