Israel, Hamas agree to temporary ceasefire deal to free 50 hostages

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened the War Cabinet, the Security Cabinet and the government Tuesday evening amid reports about the potential deal.

Published: November 21, 2023 8:08pm

Updated: November 21, 2023 11:25pm

The Israeli cabinet on Wednesday morning local time approved a proposed deal to secure the release of hostages from terrorist group in Hamas amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza in exchange for a temporary pause in the fighting.

The arrangement would secure the release of up to 80 of the more than 239 hostages Hamas took in an Oct. 7 raid that also saw the group kill about 1,200 civilians, according to the Jerusalem Post. The raid prompted retaliatory strikes by the Israel Defense Forces and ultimately led to the ongoing Israeli ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The deal would see Hamas release 50 hostages in batches over the first four days of the pause, for which Israeli would release roughly 150 Palestinian women and children in their custody. Hamas could potentially release another 30 hostages for an additional four-day pause.

Amid mounting international pressure to agree to a lasting ceasefire, Netanyahu insisted that the temporary pause would not mean the end of the conflict at that the IDF would resume its offensive at the conclusion of the pause. 

"I want to clarify. We are at war and will continue to be at war until we obtain all our objectives, to destroy Hamas and to return all our captives and missing persons," Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said. "We will also ensure that there won’t be any entity in Gaza that will threaten Israel."

Netanyahu convened the War Cabinet, the Security Cabinet and the government Tuesday evening amid reports about the potential deal. President Joe Biden on Tuesday hinted at a potential development on freeing the hostages, saying things were "looking good."

"We are now very close, very close. We could bring some of these hostages home very soon, but I don’t want to get into the details of things, because nothing is done until it’s done," he said. "And if we have more to say, we will. But things are looking good at the moment."

Netanyahu later credited Biden's assistance with negotiating favorable terms for the exchange.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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