Israeli officials say no Gaza pause, hostage releases before November 24

Under the deal, Israel and Hamas agreed on a four-day truce in the Gaza war during which the Palestinian militants would free at least 50 of the hostages taken in their deadly attacks in a series of daily batches

November 23, 2023 05:01 am | Updated 12:19 pm IST - Jerusalem:

Palestinians wait before leaving northern Gaza through a humanitarian corridor, amid the ongoing ground operation of the Israeli army against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in the northern Gaza Strip.

Palestinians wait before leaving northern Gaza through a humanitarian corridor, amid the ongoing ground operation of the Israeli army against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in the northern Gaza Strip. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Israeli officials said there would be no pause in the Gaza fighting or any release of hostages held by Hamas before Friday, despite the two sides agreeing a truce.

The agreement was approved by the Israeli government early on Wednesday and had been widely expected to take effect on Thursday.

But an Israeli official told AFP early Thursday there would be no halt in the fighting between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers "before Friday".

Also read | Israel-Hamas war, Day 48 updates

The official's comments came shortly after national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said late Wednesday that none of the hostages seized in the Hamas attacks on southern Israel on October 7 would be freed before Friday.

"The contacts on the release of our hostages are advancing and continuing constantly," he said in a statement.

"The start of the release will take place according to the original agreement between the sides, and not before Friday."

Minutes earlier, Israeli officials notified journalists that a media centre would open in Tel Aviv at noon on Thursday "to cover the return of the hostages".

Hanegbi gave no further details, and Israeli officials did not immediately offer any explanation for the developments.

Under the deal, Israel and Hamas agreed on a four-day truce in the Gaza war during which the Palestinian militants would free at least 50 of the hostages taken in their deadly attacks in a series of daily batches.

Editorial |Glimmer of hope: On the Israel-Hamas deal

In turn, Israel would release at least 150 Palestinian prisoners and allow more humanitarian aid into the coastal territory after more than six weeks of bombardment, heavy fighting and a crippling siege.

The hostages to be freed in the process are women and children, and the Palestinian prisoners are women and teenage boys aged 18 and under.

The war started after Hamas militants on October 7 launched the worst attack in Israel's history, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 240 hostages, Israel says.

Israel launched a major bombing campaign and then a ground offensive in Gaza which Hamas says has killed 14,100 people, thousands of them children.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.