Israel & Hamas Have Agreed To A Temporary Ceasefire: What We Know (& Don’t Know)

Israel and Hamas have agreed to a temporary ceasefire in exchange for hostages, marking the first real pause in conflict in six weeks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet approved the deal after more than six hours of internal discussions.

It’s not the ceasefire the world has been calling for, but will be a pause in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, which has killed more than 11,000 Palestinians.

The government of Qatar mediated the agreement between Israel and Hamas, with the help of the United States and Egypt.

Here’s what we know about the temporary ceasefire, and what comes next.

How long will the ceasefire last?

The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas will last for four days, with its starting time to be announced within the next 24 hours.

The four day pause in conflict will also allow for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza with groups ready to provide help, as well as hundreds of food, fuel, and medical trucks ready to start once the ceasefire begins.

(Photo by Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images)

How many hostages are being released?

As part of the deal Hamas have agreed to release 50 hostages from Gaza, of the approximately 240 people believed to still be held there.

The hostages they will be releasing are all women and children, according to the ceasefire announcement, and will be released in groups of 12-13 over the course of the four days.

“The Government of Israel is obligated to return home all of the hostages. Tonight, the Government has approved the outline of the first stage of achieving this goal,” Israel’s government said in a statement.

Though there were reports of a prisoner / hostage exchange taking place, this has not been confirmed.

However, Hamas shared in its statement that they would be releasing the 50 hostages in exchange for the release of 150 Palestinian women and children to be released from Israeli prisons.

How was the ceasefire made?

The government of Qatar helped to broker the deal between Hamas and Israel, along with the help of Egypt and the United States.

The State of Qatar shared in a statement that they had helped in the joint mediation, and helped to pass messages between the two states at war.

At one point, according to White House communications, messages would follow a trail starting from Israel to the US, then to Qatar who passed it on to Hamas, and vice versa for the return.

In a full statement, the Qatar Government said it “affirms its commitment to ongoing diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions, stop the bloodshed, and protect civilians.”

Does this mean the Israel and Hamas conflict will be over?

Netanyahu has already made a statement to clarify that this ceasefire is only temporary.

“I would like to make it clear — we are at war, and we will continue the war until we achieve all our goals: eliminate Hamas, return all the hostages and missing, and guarantee that there will be no threat to Israel in Gaza,” he said.

Calls for a ceasefire have come from around the world, including Australian civilians and some politicians, since the conflict began.