New Delhi, November 24, 2023: As per media reports, Hamas on Friday released a group of hostages, including 13 Israelis and 12 Thai citizens, held captive in Gaza for weeks, according to officials reports, the first stage in a swap for Palestinians prisoners in Israel under a four-day ceasefire deal.l
According to the news published in The Tribune, Israeli tanks began pulling out and a large convoy of aid trucks entered the Gaza Strip as the first pause in the Israel-Hamas war took shape from the morning of Friday after a day’s delay.
Reports said Gaza City was eerily quiet as there were no aerial bombings or artillery strikes though two rockets hit Israel. But these were not believed to have been fired by Hamas.
Both Israeli forces and Hamas insisted that this was only a temporary pause and that fighting would resume after four days. “This will be a short pause, at the conclusion of which the fighting will continue with great might and will generate pressure for the return of more hostages. At least two months of warfare is expected,” according to an Israeli Defence Ministry statement. “Control over northern Gaza is the first step of a long war, and we are preparing for the next stages,” it added.
Qatar’s chief negotiator in the ceasefire, Mohammed Al-Khulaifi, said there would be “no attack whatsoever”. The ceasefire is predicated on Hamas releasing 50 Israeli hostages.
Hamas said Israel had agreed to halt air traffic over the north Gaza from 10 am to 4 pm each day of the truce and to halt all air traffic over the south for the entire period.
Israel had also agreed not to attack or arrest anyone in Gaza and allow movement along Salah al-Din Street, the main road between north and south Gaza.