A The truce came into force after a night in which Israel continued to attack the Gaza Strip and Hamas launched missiles at two Israeli settlements located near the Palestinian enclave, whose inhabitants had already been evacuated.
About two hours before the truce came into effect, the director general of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Ministry of Health, Mounir Al-Bursh, told the France-Presse news agency (AFP) that Israeli soldiers were ” carry out an operation at the Indonesian Hospital”, located in northern Gaza, where 200 patients are still being treated.
The Al Qassam brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, celebrated the “humanitarian truce” that will allow the “exchange of prisoners”. “For every Zionist prisoner, three Palestinian prisoners will be released, including women and children”, they stressed.
Hamas confirmed “the total cessation of military activities” for four days.
An Egyptian security source told AFP that an Egyptian security delegation will be present in Jerusalem and Ramallah to ensure “compliance with the list” of released Palestinian prisoners.
Israeli security officials, accompanied by Red Cross personnel and Egyptian agents, will be sent to the Rafah border crossing to receive the hostages released from Gaza, who will then fly to Israel, the source added.
The Rafah border post, which connects the Gaza Strip to Egypt and is the only access route to territory governed by the Hamas group not controlled by Israel, will also see the entry of more humanitarian aid into the Palestinian enclave.
Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed Al-Ansari said on Thursday that 13 women and children detained by Hamas in Gaza, all members of the same family, will be released, while an as yet unknown number of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel will be released at the same time.
After more than a month and a half of war, Israel and Hamas reached an agreement for a ceasefire, which will allow the release of 50 hostages that Islamist militias hold inside the Gaza Strip, in exchange for the release of 150 prisoners Palestinians. In both cases, they are women and minors.
Israeli sources confirmed to the EFE news agency that, for every ten additional hostages that Hamas is willing to release after four days, the truce may be extended for another day, up to a maximum of ten days.
It is estimated that the Palestinian militias in Gaza have around 240 people hostage, around 210 in the hands of Hamas and another 30 in the hands of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
In total, there are at least 40 children hostage in Gaza, according to Israeli authorities, who received on Thursday the list of 50 hostages to be handed over by Hamas, although this was not made public as a precaution.
Read Also: UNRWA calls for a truce to become a ceasefire in Gaza
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