Israel, the United States, and Hamas have reportedly reached a preliminary agreement to release numerous women and children who were being held captive in Gaza. In exchange for their freedom, a five-day ceasefire would be implemented, according to sources cited by the Washington Post. This detailed six-page agreement stipulates that all involved parties must halt combat operations for at least five days. Additionally, “an initial 50 or more hostages will be released in smaller groups every 24 hours,” as stated in the Post report. During their incursion into Israel on October 7, Hamas had taken approximately 240 hostages, resulting in the deaths of 1,200 people.
To ensure compliance with the ceasefire, aerial surveillance will be employed to monitor ground activity. This monitoring mechanism will aid in maintaining the pause in hostilities while also facilitating the entry of a substantial amount of humanitarian assistance into the region. Neither the White House nor the Israeli prime minister’s office has yet commented on the report by the Washington Post.
According to informed sources, the release of hostages could commence within the upcoming days. This news was reported by Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru and Doina Chiacu in Washington, with editing by Chizu Nomiyama.