Israeli gov’t approves hostage deal with Hamas, here are the details

50-80 captives held in Gaza to be release in exchange for freeing of hundreds of jailed terrorists and a temporary ceasefire.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

Israel’s cabinet voted Wednesday to green light the potential release of hundreds of jailed Palestinian terrorists and a temporary ceasefire in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in exchange for the return of dozens of captives held by Gaza terrorists.

In an early Wednesday morning vote, the cabinet voted overwhelmingly to back the proposal, with only the 6-member Otzma Yehudit faction, led by National Security Minister Itamar Be-Gvir, opposing the deal.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionist Party voted in favor of the deal, despite the party’s earlier reservations and calls Tuesday night by the party’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Dov Lior, to oppose the terms of the agreement.

The measures approved by the cabinet include a four-day ceasefire with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, which can be extended up to a maximum of ten days if additional captives are returned.

In the initial four-day period, 50 captives will be released by Hamas, most of them women and children.

Hamas has indicated it can find an additional 30 women and children being held by other terrorist groups or by Gaza civilians.

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For every ten additional captives returned, Israel has agreed to extend the ceasefire by one day, up to ten days total.

Israel has further agreed to Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar’s demand that no Israeli aircraft – including drones and even observational balloons – fly over the Gaza Strip from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. during the ceasefire.

In addition, expanded aid shipments will be permitted into the Gaza Strip, including fuel, which Israel has in the past warned could be used by Hamas for its terror operations.

“The Israeli government is committed to bringing all the abductees home,” the government said in a statement.

“Tonight, the government approved the outline for the first stage of achieving this goal, under which at least 50 abductees – women and children – will be released over a span of four days, during which there will be a lull in the fighting.”

“The release of every 10 additional abductees will result in an additional day of respite.”

“The Israeli government, the IDF and the security forces will continue the war to return all the abductees, complete the elimination of Hamas and ensure that Gaza does not renew any threat to the State of Israel.”

Israel has released a list of roughly 300 jailed Palestinian terrorists who are being considered for release as part of the deal. Most of the terrorists on the list are women or teenagers.

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In exchange for the release of the 50 hostages, Israel expected to free some 140-150 jailed terrorists, with more to be released if and when additional captives are returned.

There are currently 239 captives held in the Gaza Strip, including some 40 children and 13 mothers.

The first stage of the exchange will include 30 of the roughly 40 children, 8 of the 13 mothers, with an additional 12 women, including several elderly women with health issues.