Israel approves hostage and ceasefire deal with Hamas

In a major development, Israel’s Cabinet has approved a four-day ceasefire deal with Hamas that would bring a temporary halt in war-torn Gaza. As part of the deal, Hamas is to free 50 of the roughly 240 hostages it is holding in the Gaza Strip. Israel said, it would extend the ceasefire by an additional day for every 10 hostages released. The first release of hostages is expected tomorrow.

Israel also agreed to permit additional fuel and large amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. Earlier, it had blocked fuel and aid supplies to Gaza, fearing it could benefit Hamas, even as the besieged Palestinians faced an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

However, ahead of Cabinet's voting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, Israel would resume its offensive against Hamas after the cease-fire expires. Israeli Defence Minister Gallant claimed, Israel's ground operation in Gaza was a key factor in pressurising Hamas to negotiate. 

The war between Israel and Hamas started when Hamas surprise attacked Israel on October 7, leaving thousands dead on both sides of the Israel-Gaza border.

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