Israel agrees to hostage deal with Hamas

By DailyNewsUg International News Correspondent

Israel and Hamas reached a deal for a four-day pause in fighting and the release of at least 50 hostages held in Gaza – but none will be freed before Friday, according to the Israel National Security Council.
Previously, the expectation had been that the first releases would take place as early as Thursday. The pause in fighting was also delayed until Friday, an Israeli official told CNN.

US officials have a working list of 10 hostages they believe are likely to be released on day one, a source familiar told CNN. It was not clear whether any of the three American hostages — including 3-year-old Abigail Edan — would be among them.

In Qatar, Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed Al-Ansari said, “We’re very optimistic, very hopeful” and told reporters: “We are at the closest point we ever had been in reaching an agreement.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has vowed to destroy Hamas, told soldiers at a military base that “we are making progress” on the return of hostages.

“I hope there will be good news soon,” he added before his office announced that the war and security cabinets and government would meet Tuesday evening.

The head of UNICEF has called the Gaza Strip “the most dangerous place” in the world right now to be a child, saying over 100 children have died per day for weeks.

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