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Israel's Government Approves Ceasefire Deal With Hamas, 50 Hostages To Be Freed In Four-Day Truce

The Israeli cabinet on Wednesday approved a cease-fire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war on the Gaza and release dozens of hostages being held in the beseiged strip in exchange for Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
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The Israeli cabinet on Wednesday approved a cease-fire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war on the Gaza and release dozens of hostages being held in the beseiged strip in exchange for Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

The deal comes at a time when the devastating war on Gaza stretched over into its sixth week, killing over 11,000 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and minors, according to Gaza's Health Ministry. In fact, Palestinian health officials in Gaza have not been able to update the death toll because of the collapse of parts of the enclave's health system and the difficulty of retrieving bodies from areas overrun by Israeli tanks and troops.

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However, it is not immediately clear when the cease-fire deal would come into effect.

Israel-Hamas cease-fire deal

Under the deal, Hamas has to free 50 of the roughly 240 hostages it is holding in the Gaza Strip over a four-day period, the Israeli government said Wednesday. It said it would extend the lull by an additional day for every 10 hostages released. The government said the first hostages to be released would be women and children.

However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would resume its offensive against Hamas after the cease-fire expires. "We are at war, and we will continue the war," Netanyahu said. "We will continue until we achieve all our goals." 

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During the lull period, Netanyahu said that intelligence efforts will be maintained, allowing the army to prepare for the next stages of battle. He said the battle would continue until "Gaza will not threaten Israel." 

The cease-fire deal however does not mean an end to the war on Gaza whose 2.3 million people have been cut off from access to food, water and fuel since October 7. Israel continues to strike what it says are militant targets throughout Gaza, often killing women and children.

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