Israeli officials approved a partial hostage deal with Hamas, according to reports.
According to CBN, the deal is in two stages, with the first stage being that Hamas will release 50 women and children over a 4-day ceasefire. In return, Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners, mostly women and minors.
Israel will also allow some 300 aid trucks per day to enter Gaza from Egypt.
In stage two of the deal, there will be another release of ten hostages during a one-day ceasefire.
"There is idle talk outside as if after the truce to return our abductees, we will stop the war," said Netanyahu. "So, I would like to make it clear: we are at war – and we will continue the war. We will continue the war until we achieve all our objectives: eliminate Hamas, return all our abductees and missing persons, and ensure that there will be no element in Gaza that threatens Israel."
The temporary ceasefire will bring a much-needed break from fighting between the two groups. The violence started when Hamas made a surprise attack on Oct. 7 and killed more than 11,000 Palestinians. Hamas and other terrorist groups also abducted some 240 people.
Experts, however, have warned that the ceasefire could be used to put a stop to the war and allow Hamas terrorists to continue their reign.
According to the Associated Press, Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader of Gaza, could try to extend the ceasefire by releasing more hostages, but that would make it “harder for Israel to restart the war, both operationally, and in the eyes of global public opinion.”
Meanwhile, families with hostages that aren’t released in the initial deal are expected to continue to push Netanyahu to secure their release.
“As long as they are hostage, we’re all hostage,” said Abben Onn, whose aunt and cousin were taken hostage. “And we need them home so that whatever happens there can be solved. I don’t think it’s a simple solution, but you can’t hold hostages and fight a war simultaneously.”
Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Michael M. Santiago / Staff
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.