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Israeli cabinet approves deal with Hamas to release hostages

Israel's cabinet agreed to a deal with Hamas that would pause fighting and release around 50 hostages from Gaza.
Israeli cabinet approves deal with Hamas to release hostages
Posted at 9:25 PM, Nov 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-21 21:25:39-05

After 45 days of war in the Middle East, the Israeli cabinet has approved a deal with Hamas to enact a temporary cease-fire and release around 50 hostages, the Associated Press reports.

The Israeli government said 50 hostages out of the roughly 240 total would be released over four days, starting with women and children. The cease-fire would extend by another day for every additional 10 hostages released, the Israeli government said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his cabinet Tuesday for a vote on the cease-fire. Even with a deal agreed to, Netanyahu said the war with Hamas will continue after the truce ends.

“We are at war, and we will continue the war,” he said, according to The Associated Press. “We will continue until we achieve all our goals.”

Speaking from the White House earlier on Tuesday, President Joe Biden was optimistic about a deal being imminent, but did not share more specifics.

"We’re now very close — very close," the president said. "We could bring some of these hostages home very soon, but I don’t want to get into details of things because nothing is done until it's done."

"When we have more to say, we will, but things are looking good at the moment," President Biden said.

Hamas is holding more than 230 people hostage, including 10 Americans.

Hamas is reportedly asking that there be no surveillance drones or planes in the sky above Gaza for the entire cease-fire period. This is a real concern for Israel, given that it thinks Hamas could use this time to re-gather and re-arm itself.

Israel began attacking Hamas after the terrorist organization launched a surprise attack on Oct. 7. Israel said around 1,200 people were killed in the attack. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says more than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed in response to the surprise attack. However, the agency noted on Tuesday it has lost the ability to count the dead due to deteriorating conditions in Gaza.