After more than eight hours of deliberations, the Israeli government officially agreed to a ceasefire with Hamas Tuesday night in exchange for 50 hostages who were kidnapped by the terrorist organization and taken to the Gaza Strip on October 7. The rest of the 186 hostages held by Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groups will not be released. The public now has the option to appeal the government decision to the Israeli Supreme Court. Ten Americans are among the hostages. It is unclear if they will be released in this deal.
A statement from the Israeli government:
The Government of Israel is obligated to return home all of the hostages. Tonight, the Government has approved the outline of the first stage of achieving this goal, according to which at least 50 hostages – women and children – will be released over four days, during which a pause in the fighting will be held. The release of every additional ten hostages will result in one additional day in the pause.
The Government of Israel, the IDF and the security services will continue the war in order to return home all of the hostages, complete the elimination of Hamas and ensure that there will be no new threat to the State of Israel from Gaza.
The details of the deal include the following and will be updated as additional details emerge:
-Ceasefire will start on Thursday, November 23
-50 hostages will be released
-Hostages held by Hamas will be released in increments of 12-13 over the course of a four day ceasefire.
-Israel will release 150 female Palestinian prisoners and minors who have not been convicted of murder but may have been charged with terror related crimes.
-For every additional 10 hostages Hamas may decide to release (after the initial 50 starting Thursday), they will get an additional day of ceasefire. For example, if 30 hostages are released by Hamas, three more days of ceasefire will be awarded. For every additional single hostage Hamas releases, they will receive three Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails and serving time for crimes.
-The Red Cross, which has not yet visited hostages since the war began 46 days ago, will finally visit those who are not released and provide them medication.
-Gasoline, which is used to power rockets Hamas launches at Israeli hospitals and civilians, will be allowed into the Gaza Strip on ceasefire days.
-IDF, Mossad and Shin Bet will continue drone and other intelligence surveillance throughout the ceasefire. Hamas disputes this detail and claims in their statement air activity will come to a halt on ceasefire days.
-IDF forces in the Gaza Strip and surrounding Gaza City will remain in place.
Top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are calling the deal “painful” and “difficult,” but the right thing to do. The Israeli government maintains they are committed to freeing all of the hostages and that this was a first stage. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Tuesday night that once the current deal is complete, the fighting will continue.