The Washington Post reported on Saturday night (Sunday morning in Israel) that a potential agreement had been reached.
Israel has declared its mission to eliminate Hamas, targeting both its leaders and terrorists. Simultaneously, Israel is making efforts, including indirect negotiations with Hamas, to secure the release of nearly 240 hostages still in captivity.
The deal involves a five-day pause in combat in Gaza, with the condition that Hamas releases at least 50 female and child hostages.
No men would be released as part of the agreement, and neither male nor female soldiers would be included, as reported by the Post.
The information comes from unnamed officials describing a deal brokered by the U.S. and Qatar, acting as intermediaries between Israel and the Hamas terror organization.
As reported by The Washington Post:
Israel, the United States and Hamas have agreed to a tentative deal that would free dozens of women and children held hostage in Gaza, in exchange for a five-day pause in fighting.
The release, which could begin within the next several days — barring last-minute hitches — could lead to the first sustained pause in conflict in Gaza, according to people familiar with its provisions.
Under the terms of a detailed, six-page agreement, all parties to the conflict would freeze combat operations for at least five days while an initial 50 or more hostages are released in smaller batches every 24 hours.
It was not immediately clear how many of the 239 people believed to be in captivity in Gaza would be released under the deal. Overhead surveillance would monitor movement on the ground to police the pause.
Only four hostages have been released by Hamas so far, all of them female. An additional female hostage, who was a fellow soldier, was freed by Israeli forces. At least two bodies of hostages have been discovered near Shifa Hospital, where Israel is conducting extensive searches.
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