Qatar has revealed crucial details regarding a planned pause in fighting and the release of Israeli hostages held by the militant group.An official statement indicates that the temporary ceasefire is set to commence at 07:00 local time on Friday (23), with the initial release of 13 hostages scheduled for 16:00.
The temporary halt in hostilities, originally slated to start earlier, faced delays as Hamas reportedly presented additional demands, as reported by an Israeli government source speaking to the BBC.
As part of the phased agreement, Hamas is committed to releasing 50 hostages from Gaza, while Israel reciprocates by freeing 150 Palestinian detainees.
In a separate development, the director of al-Shifa hospital in north Gaza has been detained by Israeli authorities for questioning. Israel alleges that evidence points to the hospital, under his management, functioning as a Hamas command center – a claim vehemently denied by Hamas.
The conflict between Israel and Hamas erupted last month, triggered by Hamas attacks that resulted in 1,200 casualties and approximately 240 hostages. Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry reports that over 14,000 people have lost their lives in Israel’s retaliatory campaign.
The announced ceasefire and hostage release offer a glimpse of a potential de-escalation, though challenges and tensions persist on both sides.