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‘Relief’ in Gaza as truce takes effect for first time
‘Relief’ in Gaza as truce takes effect for first time

Israel-Hamas war: Gaza truce to start Friday

The temporary truce between Israel and the militant group Hamas is set to start at 7 a.m. (05:00 GMT) on Friday, said Qatar, the deal's key mediator.

On Thursday, Israel's war Cabinet approved a four-day cease-fire with Hamas militants, in which militants were to release some 50 hostages held in Gaza.

Majed al-Ansari, a spokesperson for Qatar's Foreign Ministry, said the first batch of 13 hostages was to be released at 4 p.m. He added that a list of civilians to be released by Hamas has been received. "Obviously, every day, we will include several civilians as agreed to the total of 50 within the four days," he added.

Qatar, which has been leading mediation efforts between Israel and Hamas, expects Palestinians to be released from Israeli jails as part of the deal.

The deal would also allow for aid to enter the besieged Gaza Strip as hundreds of thousands remain displaced and in dire humanitarian conditions since the conflict broke out on October 7. Qatar said aid would be "going in as soon as possible."

Qatar gave more details of the four-day cease-fire in Gaza and the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas.

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He said the first batch of hostages to be released includes 13 women and children. They will be handed over to the Red Cross. There was, however, no indication if the Red Cross would be able to visit the remaining hostages, a key demand from the Israelis. 

Israel has confirmed it had received an initial list of hostages to be released from Gaza, according to Reuters news agency. 

"The relevant authorities are checking the details of the list and are presently in contact with all the families," a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's office said. 

The release of 50 hostages captured by Hamas militants during terror attacks in southern Israel on October 7, in which some 240 people were taken hostage, would also see 150 Palestinian detainees released from Israeli jails. —DWNEWS

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