A four-day ceasefire has begun : Israel has one condition to extend the truce longer

The ceasefire started today at 7 am local time

by Sededin Dedovic
A four-day ceasefire has begun : Israel has one condition to extend the truce longer
© Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

The ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas began this morning at seven o'clock local time, the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced, and will last for four days. According to him, that group includes women and children, In the hours leading up to the temporary ceasefire, rocket warning sirens went off in Israeli cities bordering Gaza, and the Israeli military reported intensified operations in the Palestinian enclave in an effort to step up its operation against Hamas as much as possible in the last hours before the pause in the clashes, the Times of Israel reports.

According to announcements by Qatari mediators, at 4 pm local time, 13 hostages held by militants in Gaza will be released, and then an unspecified number of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons.

In the following days, a large exchange of prisoners

Over the next four days, at least 50 women and children will be freed, and an estimated 190 will remain in the hands of Hamas.

In the same period, 150 Palestinian prisoners, mostly women and minors, some of whom were convicted of attempted murder, are expected to be released. The agreement encourages additional hostage releases, with Israel agreeing to an additional day of truce for every ten additional hostages released by Hamas.

It also provided for the delivery of fuel and humanitarian aid to Gaza during the cease-fire, the first since Hamas sparked a war nearly seven weeks ago with an attack on Israeli territory on Oct. 7 that killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took 240 hostages.

When asked about the Hamas hostages who are not citizens of Israel, Al-Ansari said the priority was to get the women and children to safety, and that the goal of the pause in the fighting was to reach a "permanent truce." Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization , said the truce would give Palestinians time to recover after an intense Israeli air and ground attack that has killed more than 14,500 people in Gaza, according to authorities.