Israel-Hamas war, Day 47 updates | Israel national security adviser says no hostage release before Friday

Israel expects first Hamas hostages to be released on November 23

November 22, 2023 06:26 am | Updated November 24, 2023 09:19 am IST

Israeli soldiers stand near the opening to a tunnel at Al Shifa Hospital compound in Gaza City.

Israeli soldiers stand near the opening to a tunnel at Al Shifa Hospital compound in Gaza City. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Israel and Hamas agreed to a four-day cease-fire in the devastating war in Gaza — a breakthrough that will facilitate the release of dozens of hostages held by militants as well as Palestinians imprisoned by Israel, officials said on November 22.

Also read | Day 49 of war updates here

Qatar, which has played a key role in mediating with Hamas, announced the deal, saying a start time would be given Wednesday or early Thursday. Fifty hostages will be freed in stages, in exchange for the release of what Hamas said would be 150 Palestinian prisoners.

Also read | Day 48 of war updates here

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his Cabinet for a vote, he vowed to resume the Israeli offensive against Hamas as soon as the truce ends. “We are at war, and we will continue the war,” he said. “We will continue until we achieve all our goals.”

Also read | The geopolitical fallout of the Israel-Hamas war

More than 12,000 Palestinians have been killed during the Israeli offensive, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The ministry said that as of Nov. 11 it had lost the ability to count the dead because of the collapse of large parts of the health system, but believes the number has risen sharply since then. Some 2,700 people are missing and believed to be buried under rubble, and hospitals have continued to report deaths from daily strikes, often dozens at a time.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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  • November 23, 2023 05:05
    Son of senior Hezbollah MP killed in Israel bombing in Lebanon

    The son of a senior Hezbollah lawmaker was killed on Wednesday in an Israeli strike in south Lebanon, a source close to the family told AFP.

    Abbas Raad, son of the head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc Mohammed Raad, “was killed with a number of other Hezbollah members” in an Israeli strike on a house in Beit Yahun, the source said, requesting anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

    Hezbollah made no immediate comment. - AFP

  • November 23, 2023 04:25
    In Gaza, dozens of unidentified bodies buried in mass grave

    The bodies of dozens of unidentified people were buried on Wednesday in a mass grave at a cemetery in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip.

    The remains, which bore only numbers, had come from the Indonesian and Al-Shifa hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip, according to members of the committee at the burial site. - AFP

  • November 23, 2023 03:41
    Israel national security adviser says no hostage releases before Friday

    Israel’s national security adviser said late Wednesday that no hostages held by Hamas militants in Gaza would be released before Friday, despite the two sides agreeing a truce.

    “Negotiations for the release of our hostages are advancing and continuing all the time,” national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said in a statement. “The releases will start according to the original agreement between the sides and not before Friday.” - AFP

    Read more

  • November 23, 2023 03:28
    Biden speaks with Qatar, Israel, Egypt leaders about hostages

    US President Joe Biden spoke with the leaders of Egypt, Israel and Qatar on Wednesday, the White House said, his first publicly announced talks with them since a hostage deal was announced between Israel and Hamas.

    Biden spoke in separate calls with Qatar Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

    All three conversations concerned “the deal to secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas during its brutal assault against Israel on October 7 and the latest developments in the region,” the White House said. - AFP

  • November 23, 2023 03:10
    White House hopes hundreds of aid trucks will reach Gaza in coming days

    The White House hopes several hundred more aid trucks carrying food, water and medicine will reach Gaza in the coming days, amid the conflict with Israel, national security spokesperson John Kirby said on Wednesday. - Reuters

  • November 23, 2023 02:15
    France says Israel-Hamas truce must work towards lasting ceasefire

    The deal between Israel and Hamas to free 50 hostages held by the Palestinian militant group should be “broadened” and the “humanitarian pause” it brings used to work towards a “lasting ceasefire”, the French presidency said. - AFP

  • November 23, 2023 01:52
    Iran says the war will spread if truce between Hamas, Israel not extended

    If the truce between the Hamas militant group and Israel is not extended, the war will spread across the Middle East, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told Lebanese broadcaster Al Mayadeen on Wednesday. - Reuters

  • November 23, 2023 00:38
    Israel army shows reporters tunnel in Gaza hospital

    Israeli soldiers escorted journalists through a war-ravaged landscape to Gaza’s largest hospital on Wednesday, to show them a tunnel shaft they said was part of a vast underground network Hamas uses for military purposes.

    For weeks Al-Shifa hospital in the northern Gaza Strip has been the focal point of the fight between Israel and the Palestinian militants.

    Israeli officials say Hamas has been using the hospital to hide weapons and command centres -- a claim denied by medical staff and the Islamist movement. - AFP

  • November 22, 2023 23:46
    France calls for EU sanctions against Hamas officials

    France wants the European Union to impose sanctions against top Hamas leaders following the Palestinian group’s October 7 attacks on Israel, a senior French official said on Wednesday.

    France “is pushing for sanctions at the European level against senior Hamas figures, individually, because for the moment ... the European Union only condemns the organisation as a whole,” Laurence Boone, secretary of state for European affairs, told AFP on the sidelines of an international meeting in Madrid. - AFP

  • November 22, 2023 23:14
    Major NGOs call for longer Israel-Hamas truce

    Humanitarian and human rights organisations on Wednesday said a four-day truce in the Israel-Hamas war was too short and called for more time to deliver vital aid to the Gaza Strip.

    Paul O’Brien, from Amnesty International USA, said on a conference call of major non-governmental organisations that the four-day truce was “not enough and it’s certainly not enough in human rights terms”. - AFP

  • November 22, 2023 22:59
    Smoke rising during Israeli Strikes

    This picture taken from the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip, shows smoke rising above buildings during Israeli Strikes on the northern part of the Palestinian enclave on November 22, 2023, as battles between Israel and the Hamas movement continue.

  • November 22, 2023 22:46
    UNICEF says Gaza world’s ‘most dangerous place’ for children

    The head of the United Nations children’s agency on Wednesday called the besieged Gaza Strip “the most dangerous place in the world to be a child,” and said that the hard-won truce deal between Israel and Hamas was not enough to save their lives.

    UNICEF’s executive director Catherine Russell told the UN Security Council that over 5,300 children have reportedly been killed in Gaza since Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, accounting for 40% of the deaths.

    “This is unprecedented,” said Ms. Russell, who had just returned from a trip to southern Gaza. “I am haunted by what I saw and heard.”

    Ms. Russell welcomed a deal reached Wednesday by Israel and Hamas to free hostages and pause ferocious fighting and bombardment in Gaza. - AFP

  • November 22, 2023 21:53
    Switzerland’s executive branch to seek ban on Hamas

    Switzerland’s executive branch said Wednesday it will ask parliament to ban the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

    The Federal Council said the government will also end contracts it has with three Palestinian non-governmental organizations. They were among 11 Palestinian and Israeli NGOs that had been under review by Swiss officials following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks in Israel.

    Four days after the deadly rampage in Israel, the council moved to designate Hamas as a terrorist group and instructed the Foreign Ministry to consider a possible ban.

    The seven-member council, which includes the Swiss president, reiterated its condemnation of the attacks “in the strongest possible terms” and expressed its regret about the deaths of thousands of civilians on both sides of the conflict.

    The United States and the European Union, which does not count Switzerland as a member, have long considered Hamas a terrorist organization. - AP

  • November 22, 2023 21:18
    Death of innocent people unacceptable: PM Modi

    Death of innocent people especially of women and children in Gaza Strip is not acceptable. Israel-Palestine issue should be solved through two-state solution. - PM Modi at virtual G20 session

    Important to ensure Israel-Hamas war does not take shape of regional conflict: PM Modi at G20 virtual summit

  • November 22, 2023 20:51
    Israeli army says intercepts cruise missile fired at southern Israel

    The Israeli military on Wednesday said it intercepted a cruise missile fired towards the south of the country.

    After reports of “an infiltration by a hostile aircraft” near the southern Red Sea resort of Eilat, an Israeli fighter jet “successfully intercepted a cruise missile that was launched toward Israel”, it said in a statement. - AFP

  • November 22, 2023 19:57
    Hit by war, Israelis defer loan repayments in October -banks regulator

    Israelis deferred payment on nearly 3 billion shekels of loans in October as a result of Israel’s war with Hamas, the banking regulator said on Wednesday.

    In all, some 117,000 loans were deferred, mostly in mortgages and other consumer credit, totalling 2.7 billion shekels ($727 million) last month, the Bank of Israel said.

    Data gathered in November, it said, showed that one-third of those who deferred loan payments last month were customers who were directly impacted by damage from the war - those who live or own a business within 30 km from the Gaza border, people who were evacuated from their homes, people are were called up as reservists and those who are immediate relatives of those killed during the war, kidnapped or missing. - Reuters

  • November 22, 2023 19:22
    UN Secretary-General Guterres welcomes Israel-Hamas agreement to release hostages in Gaza

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday welcomed the agreement reached by Israel and Hamas to release hostages in Gaza, describing it as an “important step in the right direction” but said that much more needs to be done.

    In a statement issued, Mr. Guterres welcomed the agreement reached by Israel and Hamas, with the mediation of Qatar supported by Egypt and the United States.

    “This is an important step in the right direction, but much more needs to be done,” the UN chief said.

    “The United Nations will mobilise all its capacities to support the implementation of the agreement and maximize its positive impact on the humanitarian situation in Gaza,” Mr. Guterres added. - PTI

  • November 22, 2023 18:36
    Truce will take effect at 10 a.m. local time

    Egypt’s state-run Qahera TV says the Israel-Hamas truce will take effect at 10 a.m. local time (0800 GMT) Thursday.

    Egypt helped mediate the four-day cease-fire, which will facilitate the release of dozens of hostages captured by Hamas during its Oct. 7 attack into southern Israel. The deal will also see the release of dozens of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel and the entry of more humanitarian aid into Gaza.

    Israeli media also reported that the truce would begin Thursday at 10 a.m. - AP

  • November 22, 2023 18:12
    WHO documents 178 attacks on healthcare facilities

    The World Health Organization has documented 178 attacks on healthcare facilities that killed 553 people, including 22 healthcare workers, since the war started on Oct. 7, the agency’s regional director said Wednesday.

    Ahmed Al-Mandhari said in an online briefing that about 800 people, including 48 healthcare workers, were injured in the attacks, which damaged 24 hospitals and 32 ambulances.

    The war has forced the shutdown of 27 out of 36 hospitals and 47 out of 72 primary health care clinics across Gaza, he said. The facilities stopping providing services mainly because of a lack of fuel and attacks, he said.

    “Hospitals must be allowed to replenish the resources they need to continue functioning,” he said. “We cannot keep providing drops of aid in an ocean of needs.” - AP

  • November 22, 2023 16:52
    Arab nations say Israel-Hamas truce should be extended, aid ramped up

    Arab Foreign Ministers welcomed an agreement for a temporary truce between Israel and Gaza militant group Hamas but said it should be extended and become a first step toward a full cessation of hostilities.

    The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan told a media briefing in London that the agreement, which includes hostage releases and stepped-up aid into the devastated Gaza Strip, should also ultimately lead to a resumption of talks for a two-state solution.

    - Reuters

  • November 22, 2023 16:31
    Turkey’s Erdogan says he may visit Egypt soon to discuss Gaza patients evacuation

    President Tayyip Erdogan said he may travel to Egypt soon and discuss how to accelerate the evacuation of patients from Gaza and other steps.

    Speaking to reporters on his plane returning from a trip to Algeria, Erdogan was reported as saying the Islamic world must act in a spirit of unity and solidarity on Gaza.

    Erdogan said the Islamic world must act in a spirit of unity and solidarity and be a “single fist” on Gaza. “When that fist hits the table with all its force, it will not be possible for Israel to continue its occupation or oppression.”

    He said efforts must be made to ensure a ceasefire, deliver sufficient aid to Gaza and rebuild the city, using economic, political and diplomatic means.

    “We must force Israel to comply with international law and be held accountable for its actions,” he added.

    - Reuters

  • November 22, 2023 16:14
    Israel expects first Hamas hostages to be released on Thursday

    Israel expects to recover on Thursday the first hostages being freed from the Gaza Strip by Hamas under a foreign mediated deal, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told Army Radio.

    He declined to confirm a report that the process would begin at 5 a.m.

    - Reuters

  • November 22, 2023 15:38
    Russia welcomes Israel-Hamas ceasefire, says humanitarian pauses are only way forward

    Russia welcomed a ceasefire agreement in the Israel-Palestinian conflict on Wednesday and said humanitarian pauses were the only way to make progress towards a settlement.

    “This is the first good news from Gaza in a long time,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

    “Russia and most countries were calling for a truce and humanitarian pauses, because only on the basis of such pauses can the contours of future attempts at a sustainable settlement be built.”

    Russia has longstanding ties with Israel, Hamas and other leading players in West Asia including Iran.

    - Reuters

  • November 22, 2023 15:11
    Pope says conflict between Israel and Hamas has gone beyond war to ‘terrorism’

    Pope Francis met separately with Israeli relatives of hostages held by Hamas and Palestinians with family in Gaza and said the conflict had gone beyond war to become “terrorism”.

    Speaking in unscripted remarks at his Wednesday general audience in St. Peter’s Square shortly after the early morning meetings in his residence, Francis said he heard directly how “both sides are suffering”.

    - Reuters

  • November 22, 2023 14:51
    France hopes French hostages among those released by Hamas

    France welcomed the Israel-Hamas truce deal, hailing the work of Qatar in securing the agreement and saying it hoped that French nationals would be among the hostages released.

    “We hope that there are French” among the hostages that Hamas will free, Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said on France Inter radio, adding “we hope so and we’re working hard toward it”.

    Eight French citizens have been missing since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel and for the moment, it is not known if all of them are being held hostage. “We have to distinguish between the cases that we are certain about and others,” Colonna said.

    Among the hostages were a French adolescent boy, and also an adolescent girl for whom France had received proof of life by video, she said.

    Meyer Habib, a French deputy whose constituency of French nationals abroad includes those in Israel, told Jewish community broadcaster Radio J on Wednesday that “one or two French people” were among the hostages to be released.

    - AFP

  • November 22, 2023 14:16
    Timing for the Israel-Hamas pause in fighting will be announced in the next 24 hours - AP
  • November 22, 2023 14:04
    Six Palestinians killed in Israeli strike on West Bank’s Tolkurm

    Six Palestinians were killed in Tolkurm camp in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement.

    The Palestinians were targeted in an Israeli drone strike, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported earlier on Wednesday.

    Another Palestinian was killed by Israeli forces near the city of Qalqilia, WAFA said, raising the number of Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday to seven.

    - Reuters

  • November 22, 2023 13:35
    Iraq’s Kataib Hezbollah militia says five killed by U.S. strikes

    Iraq’s Kataib Hezbollah militia said five of its members were killed in its stronghold of Jurf al-Sakhar south of Baghdad in U.S. strikes that Washington said came in response to attacks by Iran-aligned militias against their forces in the region.

    The U.S. carried out two series of strikes in Iraq on Tuesday and Wednesday local time, its first publicly reported responses in Iraqi territory to dozens of recent attacks and a sign of escalation in the regional conflict tied to the Israel-Gaza war.

    The attacks began on Oct. 17 and have been linked by Iraqi militia groups to U.S. support for Israel in its bombardment of Gaza following attacks by Palestinian militant group Hamas on Israel.

    - Reuters

  • November 22, 2023 13:11
    U.K. Foreign Minister Cameron calls Israel-Hamas deal a ‘crucial step’

    British Foreign Minister David Cameron welcomed the agreement between the Israeli government and Hamas to a four-day pause in fighting, calling it a crucial step and urging the parties to deliver the deal in full.

    “This agreement is a crucial step towards providing relief to the families of the hostages and addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” Cameron said. “I urge all parties to ensure the agreement is delivered in full.”

    - Reuters

  • November 22, 2023 13:02
    China says ‘welcomes’ Israel-Hamas truce deal

    China welcomed on a truce deal between Israel and Hamas, after they reached an agreement on a four-day humanitarian pause in exchange for the release of 50 hostages in Gaza.

    “We welcome the temporary ceasefire agreement reached by relevant parties and hope that it will help ease the plight of the humanitarian crisis, de-escalate the conflict and ease tensions,” foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a regular briefing.

    - AFP

  • November 22, 2023 12:41
    Palestinians’ Abbas welcomes Gaza humanitarian truce, urges wider solutions

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed on Wednesday the foreign-mediated humanitarian deal between his Islamist Hamas rivals and Israel in the Gaza Strip, and called for wider solutions to the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Abbas’ administration, based in the occupied West Bank, “appreciate(s) the Qatari-Egyptian (mediation) effort”, wants an extended truce with Israel and “the implementation of a political solution based on international legitimacy,” a social media post by senior Palestinian aide Hussein Al-Sheikh said.


  • November 22, 2023 12:41
    IDF Chief of Staff tells troops their advances in Gaza help to free hostages

    The Israel Defence Force (IDF) Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, met with reserve forces fighting inside the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.He told the forces that their actions were creating “better conditions for the return of the hostages, and we will continue with this pressure.”


  • November 22, 2023 12:40
    France hopes for release of its hostages after Israel, Hamas truce

    France hopes its eight citizens believed held as hostages will be released as a result of a truce deal between Israel and Hamas, Foreign Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna said on Wednesday.

    “We hope that there will be French people among the first batch of hostages to be released,” Colonna told France Inter radio.

    Israel’s government and Hamas agreed on Wednesday to a four-day pause in fighting to allow the release of 50 hostages held in Gaza in exchange for 150 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel, and the entry of humanitarian aid into the besieged enclave.


  • November 22, 2023 12:39
    China says ‘welcomes’ Israel-Hamas truce deal (AFP)
  • November 22, 2023 11:56
    Israel Justice Ministry publishes details on Palestinian prisoners slated for release under hostage recovery decision (Reuters)
  • November 22, 2023 11:23
    We welcome the release of 50 hostages, including Americans: Anthony Blinken

    U.S. Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken further added, “We welcome the release of 50 hostages, including Americans, from captivity in Gaza. I thank Qatar and Egypt for their partnership, and appreciate Israel’s support for a humanitarian pause that will allow additional humanitarian aid to reach Palestinians in Gaza.”


  • November 22, 2023 11:21
    U.S. President expresses his gratitude to regional partners

    U.S. President, taking to his social media X, declared that he was glad the deal was secured, adding that he was grateful that the hostages will be reunited with their families.

    “I welcome the deal to secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas during its brutal assault against Israel on October 7th.” The US president said. “I’m gratified that these brave souls, who have endured an unspeakable ordeal, will be reunited with their families once this deal is fully implemented.”The U.S. President expressed his gratitude to regional partners, who were “critical” in ensuring the deal was passed.Biden shared on X, “I thank Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt for their critical partnership in reaching this deal. And I appreciate Prime Minister Netanyahu’s commitment in supporting an extended pause to ensure this deal can be fully carried out.” ANI

  • November 22, 2023 10:43
    Qatar says deal undertaken with Egypt and United States

    Qatar said the deal had been undertaken with Egypt and the United States as well as Hamas and Israel and would include “the entry of a larger number of humanitarian convoys and relief aid, including fuel designated for humanitarian needs”.

    Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesman Majed Al-Ansari told AFP the release of the 50 hostages held by Hamas would be staggered over the four-day truce.

    “The truce begins and then every day within the four days we will have a number of hostages coming out... and that number should reach 50 by day four,” he said.


  • November 22, 2023 09:56
    US president Biden welcomes Israel, Hamas deal for release of Gaza hostages

    U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday welcomed the deal to secure the release of hostages taken by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas during the attack on Israel.

    Israel’s government and Hamas agreed to a four-day pause in fighting to allow the release of 50 hostages held in Gaza in exchange for 150 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel, and the entry of humanitarian aid into the besieged enclave.

    Biden added that the deal should also bring home additional American hostages.


  • November 22, 2023 09:16
    Qatar confirms four-day ceasefire, swap between Israel and Hamas; start time to be announced within a day (AP)
  • November 22, 2023 09:15
    Hostage release to begin 24 hours after ceasefire

    Hostage releases will begin roughly 24 hours after the ceasefire deal is approved by all parties, said a senior White House official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matters. The government of Qatar, which mediates with Hamas, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


  • November 22, 2023 08:41
    US hopes Gaza truce leads to ‘full pause’ in clashes on Israel-Lebanon border (AFP)
  • November 22, 2023 08:04
    Hamas and Israel agree on four-day ceasefire - statement

    Hamas and Israel have agreed to stop all fighting in Gaza for four days as part of an agreement in which Hamas will release 50 women and children held as hostages in exchange for Israel releasing 150 Palestinian women and children from jail, the Palestinian group said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The deal will allow hundreds of humanitarian, medical and fuel aid trucks to enter all parts of the Gaza Strip, the statement added.


  • November 22, 2023 07:45
    Senior U.S. administration official: Deal has ultimately been structured to incentivize hostage releases beyond 50 (Reuters)
  • November 22, 2023 07:44
    Three Americans expected to be included in Gaza hostage release-US official

    Three Americans held by Hamas in Gaza since its attack on Israel last month are expected to be among at least 50 hostages to be released by the Islamist Palestinian group under a deal arranged with Israel, the U.S. and Qatar, a senior U.S. official said.

    The three include a 3-year-old girl whose parents were among the more than 1,200 people killed in Hamas’ initial Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, the official said. Israeli bombardments since have flattened large swaths of Hamas-led Gaza and killed 13,300 civilians, according to authorities in Gaza.


  • November 22, 2023 07:31
    Israeli Cabinet approves ceasefire with Hamas that includes release of some 50 hostages

    Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a ceasefire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war that has stretched on for over six weeks and release dozens of hostages being held in the Gaza Strip in exchange for Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

    Under the deal, Hamas is to free 50 of the roughly 240 hostages it is holding in the Gaza Strip over a four-day period, the Israeli government said Wednesday. It said it would extend the lull by an additional day for every 10 hostages released.

    Read more here...
  • November 22, 2023 07:24
    Hamas welcomes ‘humanitarian truce’ in Gaza: statement (AFP)
  • November 22, 2023 07:04
    Israeli Cabinet approves ceasefire with Hamas that includes the release of some 50 hostages held by militants (AP)
  • November 22, 2023 06:29
    Hamas predict Qatari-mediated deal could be reached in “the coming hours”

    Hamas predicted on Tuesday that a Qatari-mediated deal could be reached in “the coming hours.”

    Netanyahu acknowledged that the Cabinet faced a tough decision, but supporting the ceasefire was the right thing to do. Netanyahu appeared to have enough support to pass the measure, despite opposition from some hard-line ministers.

    Netanyahu said that during the lull, intelligence efforts will be maintained, allowing the army to prepare for the next stages of battle. He said the battle would continue until “Gaza will not threaten Israel.


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