Qatar: Truce To Start Friday; 13 Hostages to Be Freed in First Batch

Photo by IDF Spokesperson on 23 November, 2023
By TPS • 23 November, 2023

Jerusalem, 23 November, 2023 (TPS) — The temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas will go into effect on Friday at 7 a.m., a spokesperson for Qatar’s foreign ministry said during a press conference in Doha on Thursday.

Hamas has agreed to release the first 13 hostages on Friday at 4 p.m., spokesman Majed Al Ansari announced.

“They will be 13 in number, all women and children, and those hostages who are from the same families will be put together within the same batch,” said Al Ansari.

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“The communications that took place and the meetings that took place all through yesterday went on until early morning today with the Egyptians and the parties of the conflict present here in Doha,” he added.

Immediately after the announcement from Doha, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu confirmed that Israel had received a preliminary list of names. Jerusalem was checking the document and contacting the families of the hostages, the Prime Minister’s office said.

Briefing reporters on Thursday, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said there would be no halt to combat operations in the Gaza Strip before the ceasefire goes into effect.

The Israeli Cabinet on Wednesday voted to approve a deal with Hamas to see 50 of the approximately 240 hostages held by the terrorist group in Gaza freed in exchange for a four-day truce.

The release of every additional 10 hostages will result in one additional day in the pause in combat.

The expected truce includes a “comprehensive” ceasefire in both north and south of the strip, Qatar said on Thursday.

During the ceasefire, Israel will refrain from using surveillance drones in Gaza for six hours a day. The IDF will reportedly also allow fuel to enter Gaza during that time and dramatically increase the amount of goods permitted into the Strip.

In addition to the ceasefire, Israel agreed to commute the sentences of 150 female and teenage Palestinian security prisoners held in Israeli jails. They will be allowed to return to their previous places of residence.

Many of the terrorists set to be released are affiliated with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist groups.

At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on Oct. 7. Another 240 men, women, children and soldiers were taken back to Gaza as hostages. Some people remain unaccounted for as Israeli authorities continue to identify bodies and search for human remains.


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