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Israel and Hamas agree to pause fighting for release of 50 hostages

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Israel and Hamas have agreed to release 50 hostages held in Gaza during a four-day pause in fighting. The start of the pause will be announced in the next 24 hours, marking the first break in fighting since 7 October.

Hamas has announced 150 Palestinian women and teenagers will be released from Israeli jails under the deal, and hundreds of lorries of humanitarian aid, medical supplies, and fuel will be allowed into Gaza. Israel’s government insists this is not the end of the war, reiterating its commitment to “complete the elimination of Hamas.”

Israel began attacking Gaza after Hamas fighters crossed the border on 7 October, killing 1,200 people and taking 240 others hostage.