Israeli cabinet approves ceasefire with Hamas that includes release of hostages
In a significant diplomatic breakthrough, Hamas said it agreed to release around 50 women and children hostages from Gaza in exchange for Israel releasing 150 Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails, with Israel adding it would extend the lull by an additional day for every 10 hostages released.
Humanitarian relief, medical and fuel aid will be allowed into all areas of the Gaza Strip during the pause.
However, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that Israel will continue the war following the pause, saying: "We are at war and we will continue the war until we achieve all our goals. To destroy Hamas, return all our hostages and ensure that no entity in Gaza can threaten Israel."
He said the intervention of US President Joe Biden had helped improve the tentative agreement so it included more hostages and fewer concessions.
FOLLOW BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES
Patients being evacuated from al-Shifa hospital
Patients are being evacuated from Gaza's largest hospital, Palestinian Red Crescent Society has confirmed.
In a post on Facebook it wrote: "14 ambulances belonging to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, accompanied by the UN and Doctors Without Borders, arrived to evacuate patients and injured from al-Shifa hospital to hospitals in the South, where kidney patients will be transferred to Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah and the injured will be transferred to the European hospital south of Khan Younis."
More than 250 patients and medical workers are estimated to be stranded at al-Shifa Hospital.
It follows the earlier evacuation of premature babies at risk of death due to a lack of supplies coming into the hospital.
Hostage exchange deal not yet enough, says Oxfam
Oxfam GB’s head of policy and advocacy Katy Chakrabortty has described the Israel-Hamas deal as “a Band-Aid to a bleeding wound”.
In a statement, she said: "It would be an optimism to see this as the beginnings of a road toward a permanent ceasefire – but that looks distant without concerted diplomatic pressure.
"This pause of the relentless bombing and destruction that is causing such suffering to more than two million Palestinians is a welcome respite for the delivery of some humanitarian aid – but no more than that.
"The next four days will be eaten up by a desperate emergency effort that can offer only very limited relief, not equal to the size of suffering and destruction and ultimately with no sustainability. This is a band-aid that will be ripped off a bleeding wound after four days."
The statement said that diplomatic efforts should include “tackling the core of the conflict: ending Israel’s prolonged military occupation of Palestinian territory and the blockade on Gaza while also securing the release of all hostages.”
40 percent of housing destroyed in Gaza
The EU’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell has been told by the Palestinian Authority that 40 percent of housing has been demolished in Gaza.
The Israeli military told him they would be creating a "small safe area along the sea in the southern part of Gaza” for the civilian population “in order to carry out the ground operations in the south” of the Gaza strip where more than 2million live.
Mr Borrell said: "This did not reassure me about the future course of events if we fail to achieve a rapid and durable de-escalation of the military operations".
Meanwhile Tamer Qarmout, assistant professor in public policy at the Doha Institute, told Al Jazeera the deal is taking place in a very “fragile situation”.
He said: "If it happens, it will build trust at least. If it succeeds until the end, it might lead to an opening for another opportunity to exchange prisoners and captives and hopefully end this war".
Israel continues bombing of Gaza ahead of ceasefire arrangement
While it has agreed to a temporary ceasefire to release hostages, Israel has continued to bomb Gaza ahead of the designated time.
Smoke rose over the strip near southern Israel this morning after more bombing runs.
The Israel Defence Forces saying its troops are still "striking terrorist infrastructure".
In its latest update, the IDF said its troops "continue to operate in the Gaza Strip to kill terrorists, destroy terrorist infrastructure and locate weapons stored inside civilian buildings.
"This morning, IDF troops neutralised a terror tunnel shaft from which a Hamas terrorist exited and fired at the soldiers."
More detail revealed about hostage deal
Israel's government have named 300 hostages slated for release - although only 150 were included in the deal. This is likely to account for any last-minute legal challenges.
A BBC analysis of the list reports that “most are aged 17 or 18, with the overall age range 14-59. The majority of the detainees – 274 of 300 – are male.”
The offences they have been accused of include “attempted murder, throwing a bomb, creating an explosive or incendiary object, throwing stones, contact with a hostile organisation, grievous bodily harm and arson on nationalist grounds.”
According to the Times of Israel, the war cabinet of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, defence minister Yoav Gallant, and minister Benny Gantz to decide on the identity of prisoners to be released in each phase, the government revealed.
It added that “any Palestinian prisoners on the list who have not been released by the end of the exchanges will not be freed.”
The deal between Israel and Hamas in full
Israel and Hamas have agreed to a deal to hand over hostages during temporary ceasefires.
The details of the deal, according to statements by both sides, are as follows.
• 50 Israeli women and children held by Hamas in Gaza will be released over four days. During this time there will be a pause in the fighting. The first hostage release is expected on Thursday.
• For every additional 10 hostages released after this, there will be another day's pause in the fighting.
• 150 Palestinian women and people under the age of 19 held in Israeli prisons to be freed.
• Humanitarian relief, medical and fuel aid to be allowed into all areas of the Gaza Strip.
• Aerial surveillance by Israel to halt for four days in the south of the Gaza Strip.
• Aerial surveillance by Israel to halt for six hours a day from 10am to 4pm for four days in the north of the Gaza Strip.
• During the truce period, Israel is committed not to attack or arrest anyone in all areas of the Gaza Strip.
Lord Cameron welcomes deal as 'crucial step'
The UK's new foreign secretary Lord David Cameron has welcomed the deal between Israel and Hamas.
He said it will help bring"relief to the families of the hostages" and address the "humanitarian crisis in Gaza".
He urged both sides to make sure the deal is "delivered in full".
Lord Cameron also reiterated the UK's pledge to work with its partners to see the more than 200 hostages taken by Hamas released.
The foreign secretary said the pause in fighting provides an "important opportunity to ensure much greater volumes of food, fuel and other life-saving aid can reach Gaza on a sustained basis".
"We have already doubled our aid commitment to Palestinians this year and will work closely with the UN to ensure it reaches those who need it," he added.
Israel reveals Palestinian prisoners to be released
Israel has published a list of Palestinian prisoners set to be freed under the deal agreed with Hamas to release hostages.
The list appears to show 300 prisoners, which is twice as many as the 150 they agreed to - suggesting the list is long enough to allow for any last-minute legal challenges.
Hamas is set to release 50 hostages in return for 150 prisoners and a four-day ceasefire.
While the deal has been agreed by Israel and Hamas, there is still time for it to be reversed, as the Israeli public has 24 hours to petition against the planned release of Palestinian prisoners.
However, there is not expected to be much public opposition to the deal.
- Support fearless journalism
- Read The Daily Express online, advert free
- Get super-fast page loading