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16 June, 2024
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Israel-Hamas truce sparks anticipation for families

Women and children first in ceasefire deal


A four-day ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict began today, providing a temporary respite for the war-weary residents of Gaza and Israel. The truce, initiated at 7 a.m. local time, paves the way for the release of hostages held since Hamas' October 7 attack.

Under the agreement, Hamas commits to freeing at least 50 of the approximately 240 hostages, while Israel agrees to release 150 Palestinian prisoners.

Women and children are prioritized for release, with the possibility of extending the truce based on additional hostage releases. This breakthrough follows weeks of intense negotiations mediated by Qatar, the United States, and Egypt.

The hope is that this truce-for-hostages deal, the first significant pause in the conflict since its onset seven weeks ago, could lead to a broader de-escalation.

While both sides express optimism, Israel remains determined to resume its offensive once the truce concludes. Families of the hostages, whose plight has gripped the nation, eagerly anticipate the release, bringing a glimmer of relief amid the widespread destruction.

The return of hostages is expected to uplift spirits in Israel, where mass demonstrations have urged the government to secure their release. Simultaneously, increased aid is set to enter Gaza, offering a ray of hope for the 2.3 million people grappling with the aftermath of weeks of bombardment.

However, challenges persist, including the lack of fuel causing a territory-wide blackout.

As the truce takes effect, questions loom about the future of the conflict, with the possibility of a wider conflagration across the Middle East. International actors closely watch whether this break in hostilities marks a turning point or a brief interlude before further escalation.

The coming days will reveal the extent of the impact of this ceasefire on the Israel-Hamas war.

[With information sourced from AP News]

Cyprus  |  Hamas  |  Israel  |  hostages  |  deal

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