• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Gaza Truce and Hostage Release Delayed Until Friday, Stalling Hopes for a Swift End to Conflict

The anticipated four-day truce in Gaza and the release of at least 50 Israeli and foreign hostages held by Hamas will not commence until at least Friday, according to Israeli national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi. The breakthrough deal, designed to temporarily halt the seven-week-old conflict, faced a setback as the release of hostages is now expected to start on Friday at the earliest.

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Hanegbi stated, “The contacts on the release of our hostages are advancing and continuing constantly. The start of the release will take place according to the original agreement between the sides, and not before Friday.” The delay is a blow to families eagerly awaiting the return of their loved ones and to the over two million Gazans seeking relief from the prolonged war and destruction.

The intricate deal involves a four-day truce, during which hostages taken in the October 7 attacks would be released. For every additional 10 hostages released, there would be an extra day’s “pause” in fighting. The agreement also includes Israel releasing at least 150 Palestinian women and children and allowing more humanitarian aid into Gaza.

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While the cause of the delay remains unclear, the setback raises concerns about a potential breakdown in the implementation of the agreement. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while supporting the deal, has emphasized its temporary nature, vowing to continue the campaign against Hamas.

Tensions on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon escalated after Hezbollah reported five fighters, including the son of a senior lawmaker, killed in an Israeli strike. The White House urged Israel to maintain calm along the Lebanese border. As the conflict persists, the region remains on edge, with fears that the Gaza war could escalate into a broader conflagration.

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