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IPFS News Link • Israel - Palestine

Coming home at last: Israel agrees deal that will see 50 women and children hostages...

• By MIRIAM KUEPPER, NICK PISA and CHRIS JEWERS

Israel has agreed a deal that will see 50 women and children kidnapped by Hamas gunmen on October 7 freed during a four-day truce, leaving their families with an agonising wait to see if their loved ones are coming home.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summoned his war cabinet last night where he demanded they support the temporary pause in fighting - that could begin within 24 hours - after the US and Qatar spent weeks thrashing out the deal.

Under the terms of the agreement, Hamas is to free 50 women and children of the around 240 hostages it is holding in the Gaza Strip over a four-day period - extended by an additional day for every 10 hostages released, the Israeli government said.

Hamas is to release 12 Israeli women and children every night for four days. In return, Israel will free 150 Palestinians held in Israeli jails and allow 300 aid trucks into Gaza every day of the ceasefire to get much needed aid to civilians trapped there.

It was not immediately clear exactly who will be released from Gaza. Among those waiting for news will be London-based father Thomas Hand, whose nine-year-old Irish-Israeli daughter Emily is among those being held inside the territory.

Mr Hand, who has been petitioning the Israeli government to orchestrate her release, will be hoping and praying that she is among the group of 50.

Meanwhile, the UK government has said it believes three British nationals are still being held hostage in Gaza. No information has been given on whether they could be among those released.


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