israel, hamas agree on deal for release of 50 women and children
Israel and Hamas announced a deal on Wednesday for the release of 50 civilians held hostages in the Gaza Strip. In the first major diplomatic breakthrough in the Israel-Hamas conflict, a four-day truce was finalized.
During a four-day truce, Hamas will release 50 Israeli women and children kidnapped during their October 7 offensive against Israelis. Around 150 Palestinians will also be released from Israeli jails.
However, Israeli forces and Hamas members have emphasized that the war will not end. The Israeli government pledged to release all hostages and eliminate Hamas from the Gaza Strip.
Under the deal, 50 Israeli hostages in the Gaza Strip will be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. Following mediation by the United States and Egypt, Israel and Hamas have agreed to a humanitarian pause.
According to knowledgeable sources, 50 Israeli women and children hostages will be released from the Gaza Strip, while a number of Palestinian women and children will also be released from Israeli prisons.
The negotiations for truce included the United States Central Intelligence Agency, Israel’s overseas spy agency Mossad, and Egyptian intelligence.
Americans, including three-year-old Abigail Mor Idan, are among the 50 hostages. In the coming weeks, additional hostages will also be released.
Hamas gunmen carried out an attack on Israel on 7 October, the worst in Israel’s history. Since October 7, crime against women and children in Israel and the Gaza Strip have increased. The cross-border attack left around 1,200 people dead.
After the attacks, Hamas took an estimated 240 Israelis and foreigners hostage, including women and children. Subsequently, Israel declared war on Hamas.
According to Hamas, the war killed 14,100 people, thousands of them children, in the Gaza Strip. Recently, around 31 premature babies were also evacuated from Al-shifa hospital. UNICEF warned that the babies’ condition was “rapidly deteriorating.”
Last month, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, said that he saw “confirmed pictures of Hamas terrorists beheading children.” He alleged that Hamas fighters beheaded 40 babies, who were found near a kibbutz in southern Israel.
Israeli women had been suffering because of the ongoing conflict between Israeli forces and Hamas fighters. The Israeli police also started investigating “several cases” of alleged sexual violence against Israeli women by Hamas fighters during the October 7 attacks.
According to Haaretz Today, rape victims said that they were raped repeatedly by Hamas fighters. A German woman was also paraded naked by Hamas in a truck. Her body was found by the Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip.
The deal can alleviate the sufferings of women and children.