Hamas has reportedly agreed to a deal with Israel to release dozens of hostages, marking a major breakthrough in the effort to free more than 200 people who were abducted in the Oct. 7 terrorist attack that sparked the war.
Hamas has said it will release 50 women and children in exchange for the same number of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails, according to the New York Times. The deal, which is reportedly being negotiated by officials in the U.S., Qatar and Egypt, also calls for a temporary pause to the fighting in Gaza to allow more humanitarian aid in.
While it remains unclear whether Israel will agree to the proposal, President Joe Biden said the U.S. is "deeply involved" in the negotiations. Speaking Wednesday after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Biden said he is "working on how I can be helpful in getting the hostages released and have a period of time where there’s a pause long enough to let that happen."
Meanwhile, Israeli forces are continuing their onslaught in the heart of Gaza City, focusing on a hospital that Israel claims Hamas is using as a stronghold to conduct operations. The attacks in Gaza have killed more than 11,000 people, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza.
In addition to the roughly 1,200 people who were killed in the Oct. 7 terrorist attack, Israeli officials say about 240 people were abducted by Hamas, many of whom still remain in the group's custody. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will not agree to a cease-fire in Gaza until every Israeli hostage has been released.
Trending stories at Scrippsnews.com