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Qatar says Gaza cease-fire will begin at Friday morning, with aid to follow ‘as soon as possible’

by Lucas Garcia
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Gaza Ceasefire

Qatar has announced that a four-day ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, involving Israel and Hamas, will commence on Friday morning, a day later than previously planned. This development comes as negotiators finalize the terms of the agreement, which includes the release of numerous hostages held by militants and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

The ceasefire, initially set to start on Thursday, was delayed to Friday morning, as confirmed by Qatar’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed al-Ansari. This delay was announced by Israel’s national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, without specifying reasons.

The truce is a significant respite for the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, who have suffered from extensive Israeli bombing, and for Israeli families anxious about their relatives captured during Hamas’ attack on October 7 that sparked the conflict.

Under the agreement, lists of individuals to be released have been exchanged. Hamas is expected to release the first group of hostages, including 13 women and children, on Friday afternoon. Additionally, increased aid to Palestinians is to commence as promptly as possible.

The Health Ministry in Gaza reported over 13,300 Palestinian fatalities from the conflict, although this figure doesn’t distinguish between civilians and militants. Israel claims to have eliminated thousands of Hamas fighters. Due to the deterioration of health services in northern Gaza, the ministry had halted casualty updates since November 11.

Despite the truce, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed intentions to continue the war post-ceasefire, aiming to dismantle Hamas’ military capacity and end its governance in Gaza. Netanyahu conveyed this stance in a conversation with U.S. President Joe Biden.

The ceasefire has been met with mixed reactions among Palestinians in Gaza, many of whom were eager to return to their homes, even if only to the remains, to reconnect with family members. The Israeli military’s control over parts of northern Gaza and the reported Hamas hideout under Shifa Hospital in Gaza City add complexity to the situation.

As part of the truce, 50 hostages are to be released in stages, in exchange for the freedom of around 150 Palestinian prisoners. The deal has raised hopes in Israel, especially among families of the hostages.

Qatar has promised that the ceasefire will enable the entry of a larger volume of humanitarian aid into Gaza. However, concerns remain regarding the adequacy of the aid and the limited duration of the ceasefire to address the extensive needs in Gaza.

The full scope of the conflict, including the toll on civilians and the political implications, continues to unfold, with the ceasefire representing a crucial but potentially temporary reprieve in the ongoing hostilities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gaza Ceasefire

What is the new development in the Gaza conflict?

A ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, involving Israel and Hamas, is set to commence on Friday morning, as announced by Qatar. This ceasefire is part of an agreement that includes the release of hostages and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel, as well as the promise of increased humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Why was the ceasefire delayed?

The ceasefire, initially planned to start on Thursday, was delayed to Friday morning. This postponement was announced by Israel’s national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, although no specific reasons were provided for the delay.

What does the ceasefire entail regarding hostage releases?

Under the ceasefire agreement, lists of individuals for release have been exchanged between the parties. The first group of hostages held by Hamas, including 13 women and children, is expected to be freed on Friday afternoon.

What is Israel’s stance on the ceasefire?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that the ceasefire will not mark the end of the war. He intends to continue military operations with the aim of dismantling Hamas’ military capabilities and ending their governance in Gaza.

What is the significance of the ceasefire for the people in Gaza?

The ceasefire promises some respite for the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza who have suffered from the Israeli bombardment. It is also a relief for Israeli families concerned about loved ones taken captive during the conflict.

How will the ceasefire impact humanitarian aid in Gaza?

Qatar has indicated that the ceasefire will enable the entry of a larger volume of humanitarian aid into Gaza, including essential supplies like food, water, and medical resources.

More about Gaza Ceasefire

  • Gaza Ceasefire Announcement
  • Hostage Release Details
  • Israeli Military Objectives Post-Ceasefire
  • Humanitarian Aid in Gaza
  • Impact of Ceasefire on Gaza Residents

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