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Israel-Hamas War Truce Begins
A four-day truce in the Israel-Hamas war took effect early on November 24, setting the stage for the exchange of hostages. The halt in fighting promises relief for Gaza’s 2.3 million people and families in Israel.
Promises of Hostage Release
The cease-fire, lasting at least four days, includes pledges from Gaza’s ruling Hamas group to free at least 50 hostages taken on October 7. Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners, with women and children being the first priority.
Mediation and Negotiations
The truce-for-hostages deal was reached with the help of mediators from Qatar, the United States, and Egypt after weeks of intense indirect negotiations. This marks the first significant break in fighting since the war began.
Release of Hostages and Prisoners
A first group of 13 women and children held by Hamas will be freed by November 24 afternoon, with three Palestinian prisoners released for every freed hostage. Israel’s Justice Ministry has published a list of 300 prisoners eligible for release.
Relief Efforts for Gaza
Increased aid for Palestinians will start to enter Gaza as soon as possible after the truce, including fuel and other supplies. Israel has cut off imports at the start of the war, causing a territory-wide blackout and humanitarian crisis.
Resumption of War
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated that the war will resume with intensity for at least two more months once the truce ends, despite hopes of eventually winding down the war.
Humanitarian Impact and Casualties
The war has taken a devastating toll, causing death and destruction in Gaza, fueling violence in the West Bank, and leaving many missing, feared buried under rubble. The lack of differentiation between civilians and militants in the death toll adds to the severity of the situation.
The truce, while providing some relief, offers a temporary respite from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, with uncertainties about the war’s eventual end, aid efforts, and the fate of hostages and prisoners in the region.