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Updated Nov 21, 2023, 8:59pm EST
securityMiddle East

Israel government approves hostage deal

Protesters hold placards of Israeli child hostages outside the Tel Aviv offices of Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), in Tel Aviv, Israel, November 20, 2023.
REUTERS/Joseph Campbell
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The News

Israel’s cabinet signed off on a deal that would see about 50 hostages released by Hamas in exchange for a ceasefire that would last several days and the release of some imprisoned Palestinian women and children, according to Israeli news reports.

“We will not stop the war after the ceasefire,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “There is nonsense out there suggesting that we will halt the war after the ceasefire to return the hostages.

Families of the hostages held by Hamas have 24 hours to appeal to the Supreme Court before which the deal cannot be finalized, NBC News reports.

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Earlier Tuesday, a Hamas leader told Reuters that the two parties were nearing “a truce agreement.” Negotiations have centered on the arrangement of aid into the Gaza Strip, the length of a ceasefire, and the exchange of both Israeli and Palestinian prisoners.

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Qatari officials previously said that the remaining details in the negotiations were “minor,” and U.S. officials, including President Joe Biden, said Monday that the agreement was nearing.

It is not expected that the truce will be indefinite. Netanyahu has previously vowed to “not stop fighting until we bring our hostages home.”

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Step Back

Fighting has raged for weeks, and world leaders have called for a cessation in hostilities as civilian deaths rise. More than 13,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began its strikes on Gaza, the enclave’s Hamas-run government has said, following the militant group’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Israeli authorities say around 1,200 people were killed in Israel in that attack.

— J.D. Capelouto contributed to this report.

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