Wilfried Devillers (in Tel Aviv) / Photo credits: JACK GUEZ / AFP 09:10 a.m., November 22, 2023

A deal to release 50 hostages held by Hamas since October 7 has been approved by the Israeli government in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners and a four-day truce in Gaza. What exactly does this agreement contain? Let's take stock.

After more than 40 days in the hands of Hamas, 50 hostages will be freed in the coming days, following an agreement validated on Tuesday night by the Jewish State's War Council. The agreement provides for the release of 50 hostages held by Hamas in exchange for the release of about 150 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, mostly women and minors, and a truce in the Gaza Strip.

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30 children released

The 50 hostages soon to be freed will include 30 children, eight mothers and 12 other women. No men or soldiers from the armed forces will be released at this time. This is a point of the negotiations that Hamas has always refused.

The release of the hostages will be carried out in stages. Between 10 and 13 people could be released daily by Hamas, which is expected to hand them over to the Red Cross before being transferred to Israel. The Red Cross will also be able to visit unreleased hostages and provide them with medicines. The Israeli government has also agreed to the resumption of fuel deliveries and the entry of more humanitarian convoys into the Palestinian enclave for the duration of the ceasefire.

The war will continue

To get to this point, it took several weeks of negotiations, including mediation by Qatar, the United States and Egypt. According to an Israeli government official, the agreement is expected to take effect on Thursday morning. A 24-hour period for Israeli citizens to file appeals against the terms of the agreement, including the release of Palestinian prisoners, but this is unlikely to jeopardize the negotiations. At the end of this truce, Israel remains focused on its objectives: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Wednesday morning, the war will continue. The goal is to eliminate Hamas.