Israel, Hamas Reportedly Accept Temporary Cease-Fire

Israel and the terrorist group Hamas have reportedly accepted a cease-fire following more than one month of fighting in and around the Gaza Strip. According to the terms of the cease-fire, Hamas would release 50 hostages taken during the Oct. 7 terrorist attack and Israel would release a number of Palestinian prisoners.

The circumstances surrounding the ceasefire are still tenuous and could change. As of this writing, the two sides agreed to a four or five-day ceasefire beginning at 10 a.m. local time on Thursday, Nov. 23.

The decision by both sides to have a lull in the fighting was reportedly negotiated with help from the United States and the Middle Eastern nation Qatar. Qatar has good relations with both the United States and a number of Islamist groups in the region.

Qatar’s government wrote that the two sides “agreed to this deal after weeks of intense negotiations.” The oil-rich nation credited itself for leading the negotiations while also thanking Washington and Egypt.

According to the terms of the agreement, 50 hostages would be released. These hostages would all be women and children and would include three Americans. As a result, the Israeli government would release 150 Palestinian prisoners.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “the release of every additional ten hostages will result in one additional day in the pause.”

Israel’s government has promised to remove Hamas from power in the small Palestinian territory. The Israel Defense Force (IDF) has captured much of the Gaza Strip’s north and successfully released several hostages.

The prime minister’s office wrote that “the Government of Israel, the IDF and the security services will continue the war in order to return home all of the hostages, complete the elimination of Hamas and ensure that there will be no new threat to the State of Israel from Gaza.”

Hamas stated that its “victorious brigades and all our resistance factions will remain the protective shield and defender of our people until the occupation and aggression are defeated.”

Further plans for a potential extension of the cease-fire or course of the war have not yet been announced.