Family and friends of around 240 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza call on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take them home at a demonstration in Tel Aviv, Israel, November 21, 2023. Photo/AP/Ariel Schalit
TEL AVIV – The Israeli government has chosen to accept a temporary ceasefire agreement in Gaza, in which several hostages held by Hamas fighters will be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.
Local media reported this on Wednesday morning (22/11/2023). “The Israeli cabinet’s decision is supported by all branches of the Israeli security services, the IDF, Shin Bet and Mossad,” a senior Israeli official told Haaretz.
Palestinian fighters are expected to free around 50 Israeli women and children once a lull in fighting begins, Reuters reported.
The first hostages may be released as soon as Thursday, unless Israel’s Supreme Court challenges the deal and blocks the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Israel will publish a list of Palestinian prisoners it will release, and the public will have 24 hours to submit their objections.
The list reportedly includes around 150 Palestinians, mostly women and children, none of whom are accused of killing Israelis.
“The temporary ceasefire could be extended if Hamas releases more women and children, or one day for each group of 10 more Israeli hostages,” the Times of Israel report said.
Ahead of the vote, Israeli Prime Minister (PM) Benjamin Netanyahu told ministers that, “Accepting the deal was a difficult decision but the right one.”
He vowed that Israel would continue its war with Hamas after a temporary ceasefire.