Hezbollah considering joining ceasefire Thursday, as Supreme Court clears way for Hamas deal

Hamas says ceasefire to begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, with release of roughly a dozen Israeli captives.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

Israel’s Supreme Court rejected a petition Wednesday evening calling on the court to strike down a government decision approving an agreement with Hamas for the release of dozens of Israeli captives in exchange for the freeing of jailed Palestinian terrorists.

The petition, filed by the Almagor Terror Victims Association, argued that the hostage deal violated the right to equality of the majority of Israeli captives in Gaza, who are not included in the agreement.

Justice Alex Stein, who is considered a member of the court’s conservative wing, wrote that the court had no right to intervene against the government’s decision.

“This difficult matter is entirely in the realm of considerations of war and peace, and foreign policy, which are in the hands of the government.”

“This is a clear-cut issue of policy which the court cannot address, something we have emphasized repeatedly in a number of rulings.”

The decision clears the way for the implementation of the exchange Thursday.

A spokesperson for the Hamas terrorist organization said Wednesday that the deal will go into effect starting at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, with the release of the first group of captives.

The agreement ratified by the Israeli cabinet early Wednesday morning provides for the release of at least 50 captives – and as many as 80 – held in Gaza, in exchange for a temporary ceasefire and the release of at least 140 jailed Palestinian terrorists.

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The ceasefire, which will last at least four days, can be extended up to 10 days, beyond which the government will be required to convene again and approve any further extensions.

Hamas has agreed to free 50 captives, most of them children and the rest women, in exchange for 140-150 jailed terrorists.

The group may also release some 30 additional women and children if it can secure their custody from rival terror groups or Gaza civilians holding Israelis captive.

No Israeli soldiers are slated to be included in the deal.

For every additional ten captives released, the ceasefire will be extended by one day, during which time expanded aid will be permitted into the Gaza Strip, including fuel.

The number of jailed terrorists to be freed may also increase with the release of additional captives, with as many as 300 terrorists potentially up for release.

The Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist organization said that it may join the ceasefire, despite not being bound by the agreement, Al Jazeera reported Wednesday night.