Has a tentative agreement been reached in Gaza?

Israel, the U.S., and Hamas have tentatively looked into releasing dozens of women and children held captive in Gaza in exchange for a five-day ceasefire, Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the negotiations.

However, Netanyahu told a press conference on Saturday evening: “Concerning the hostages, there are many unsubstantiated rumours, many incorrect reports. I would like to make it clear: As of now, there has been no deal. But I want to promise: When there is something to say – we will report to you about it.”

A White House spokesperson also said Israel and Hamas have not yet reached a deal on a temporary ceasefire, adding the U.S. is continuing to work to get a deal. A second U.S. official also said the parties involved haven’t reached a deal.

Those who are acquainted with the comprehensive six-page agreement said that barring any unforeseen circumstances, the hostage release could happen in the coming days, the report added.

It’s noticeable that the report comes as Israel appears to be preparing to expand its attacks on southern Gaza after air strikes killed dozens of Palestinians, including civilians reported to be sheltering at two schools.

The agreement if reached could lead to freezing combat operations for at least five days while 50 or more hostages are released in groups every 24 hours, according to the report.

The pause also is intentional to allow a substantial amount of humanitarian aid in, the newspaper stated. The outline for the deal was put together during weeks of talks in Qatar.


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