Israel-Hamas truce set to begin after deal to free 50 hostages


GAZA – A temporary truce period in the Israel-Hamas war has started – and despite no official word from either side, it appeared to be holding.

Some aid trucks have now entered Gaza.

A four-day ceasefire in Gaza between Israel and Hamas had begun at the scheduled time of 7am, to be followed by the release of 13 women and children under a Qatar-brokered truce.

The first of at least 50 hostages held in Gaza since Hamas’s brutal-incursion on October 7, 2023 would be released via Egypt on Friday, nine hours after the beginning of the humanitarian pause in Gaza, Qatar’s foreign ministry said.

Increased aid for Palestinians would also start to enter Gaza “as soon as possible”, Qatar foreign ministry spokesperson, Majed al-Ansari, added.

He did not say how many Palestinian prisoners would also be freed, but officials had said three would be freed for every hostage.

Read more: Israel suspends minister after saying dropping a nuclear bomb in Gaza is ‘one of the possibilities’ of war with Hamas

“The first batch of civilians to be released from Gaza will be around 4pm of the same day. They will be 13 in number, all women, and children and those hostages of the same families will be put together in the same batch,” he added.

Meanwhile, CNN reported that at least 90 aid trucks had so far entered Gaza through the Rafah border crossing on Friday.

The official said those trucks were among the 200 aid trucks that had entered the Egyptian side of the crossing on Friday morning.

Trucks carrying aid also appeared to have begun moving into Gaza from the Rafah border, according to live video from Reuters.

A large convoy of aid trucks had lined up at the border crossing on standby ahead of the truce, which appeared to have gone into effect after 7 a.m. local time (12 a.m. ET).

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