As the Israel-Hamas war enters its 47th day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s cabinet has agreed to a multiday truce that includes the release of 50 hostages being held by Hamas.
Hamas said the “humanitarian truce” would also see the release of 150 Palestinians detained in Israel. Netanyahu reportedly told cabinet members that while the ceasefire’s approval was a “difficult” choice to make, it was the “right decision” at this point.
Netanyahu clarified in a speech late Tuesday that Israel was not backing down in the fighting after its hostages were released, saying talks about the war ending following the hostage exchange deal were “nonsense.”
Qatar, in coordination with the United States, helped broker the negotiations that stalled weeks earlier as ground battles raged in northern Gaza.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) released early Wednesday images of what it said were Hamas terrorist tunnels “underneath the Shifa Hospital.” The Israeli army said it would continue to publish “proof” that Gaza’s largest health complex, the Al-Shifa Hospital, was being used by Hamas as a command node.
Hamas militants launched an invasion in Israel on Oct. 7, killing more than a thousand people, who were mostly civilians, and abducting over 200 Israelis and foreign nationals. There is growing concern that Israel-Palestine tensions may spill over into the Middle East as Lebanese paramilitary group Hezbollah intensifies its attacks against Israel on the northern border.